As a historical romance writer – I google some very unusual topics: Edwardian underpants, Medieval remedies for spots, the lyrics of Hitler Youth songs, calendar’s with Mormon missionaries on them (yes, they do exist), and seventeenth century beauty lotions (made of eggs and bacon - talk about egg on your face).
You name it, I’ve googled it. This habit, which I regard as perfectly normal and ‘all part of the job’ of a fiction writer, sometimes leaves me with some explaining to do. My husband, my children, and my elderly mother all use my laptop from time to time, and they have often expressed astonishment at some of the topics I’ve been researching.
I suppose I ought to have a password or something – so I can keep my bizarre search history to myself – but why should I? I’m a perfectly well-adjusted fiction writer (if there is such a thing). It’s my job and I’m proud of it. I can deal with raised eyebrows and ribald remarks – no problem at all. In my story American Smile, I even added a scene where the hero has to explain to his girlfriend why he’s been googling some interesting topics, and it was great fun to write. There’s nothing like a bit of flaming embarrassment in a romance novel. But since it is very common these days to share access to a computer, and not everyone wants their search history available for all to see, I did some digging and came up with this at Yahoo Answers.I’d love to know how other people deal with this issue. Are you an uninhibited internet surfer or do you use special undercover tactics?
By the way - I've just got a lovely review of Scandal at the Farmhouse from a fellow writer just yesterday - you can read the full text here. I get top marks for my historical details - so maybe all that internet research is paying off!