Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Writer Perk #1 - An Excuse to Travel

One of the especially fun aspects of being a writer is the research.

Last week, research for my next mystery series with Revell kept me in St. Louis, Missouri for a few extra days following the ACFW conference. I was blessed with my crit partner, her twenty-something daughter (who offered great insights into my heroine's mindset) and her sister-in-law, a St. Louis native, as tour guides.

We explored neighborhoods to determine where my heroine, her family, people involved in her cases, and her colleagues might live.

I also had to experience first hand all the iconic St. Louis experiences, such as:

Concrete from Ted Drewes on Historic Route 66

Deep-fried Ravioli from The Hill

Historic Union Station

The view from The Arch 630 feet above the city

And enjoying the abundance of freebies--a zoo, a science center, an art museum, a history museum and more--at Forest Park, home to the 1903 World's Fair.

I also spent many hours at the FBI headquarters where my heroine will work!

Even the flight home proved to offer great insights into the psyche of my somewhat nervous flyer heroine as we traveled through choppy weather. Now the fun of crafting her adventure begins.

In the meantime...my next Love Inspired Suspense, Identity Withheld, releases soon, and is already shipping/downloadable directly from Harlequin by clicking here.

After exposing an illegal adoption ring, newly named “Kara Grant” is promised safety in Witness Protection. But someone has found her—and wants her dead. If only she could trust the handsome firefighter who catches her fleeing from a suspicious fire. Jake Steele seems to think she’s guilty of burning her own home. But how can she tell him who she really is and what she’s been through without bringing danger to the widowed father’s door? Yet with the criminals fast closing in, taking such a risk might be her only chance at survival. Because the price she’ll pay for her silence could be her life.

Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of Deadly Devotion and Blind Trust with Revell publishing and of many novels with Love Inspired Suspense. Her stories have garnered several Canadian Christian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. She and her husband of 25+ years live in the heart of Niagara, Canada, not far from their three grown children and two adorable grandchildren. Learn more and check out the special bonus features for all her novels here: http://sandraorchard.com or connect at: http://facebook.com/SandraOrchard


  1. I love site research! I have family in St. Louis. You ARE making your heroine an avid Cards fan, aren't you? Red sweatshirts, fleece throws, mugs, pajamas, etc.

    1. LOL, LeAnne. As I was there, I thought to myself that I should start collecting such things for a fun giveaway come time for the book's release! I did learn that FBI agents attend every Rams game, but baseball fans are tamer so they don't have to be quite as vigilant with them. Perhaps I should have my heroine bemoan that fact. :D

  2. Wonderful to see those beautiful houses in your photos, Sandra. Not sure about the deep-friend ravioli though! I don't think that's reached Australia yet!

    1. I'm not sure it's gotten outside St. Louis. I'd never heard of it.

  3. Sandra that takes me back to when I lived in Missouri for a couple of years. I remember our trip up the arch but never tasted the yummy looking pink concrete. All in the name of research, wow. A tax break? Ever wower! The book sounds like an interesting read. Definitely on the TBR list.

    1. LOL, Rita, yes, need to dig out all those receipts I stuffed who knows where?! :D

  4. What fun! and how I envy you the time and experiences you had in St. Louis. The story sounds intriguing. Definitely on my TBR list. Thank you for taking us on your research trip.