Thursday, July 13, 2017

Undercover Author by Paula Mowery

An undercover agent lurks in many authors. How do I know? I’ve discovered this about myself. When asked where my story ideas originate, I may reply with a couple of sources. But in reality I’m thinking to myself: “Where can you not find a story?”

Here, let me prove this to you like a true investigator/informant would.

About a month ago I received the dreaded card in the mail: Report for Jury Duty. Yep, just like you did, I rolled my eyes and heaved a huge sigh. I get it. This is an honor and a privilege as a citizen, but with only a few weeks remaining of my summer, I wasn’t looking forward to being stuck in a court room.

However, I dressed nicely and fell into the line of others from my community who had been summoned. We crowded into the small county courtroom. A judge introduced himself and began to explain about this task we would be undertaking. He kept venturing off, giving examples from his many years serving in the court system.

I sat up a little straighter. Now this was getting interesting. He used examples from cases of murder, theft, and drug charges. This undercover author was intrigued. The judge even shared about having to put a jury member into jail for leaking details that weren’t supposed to be leaked.

Friends, by now, my mind was churning! The what-ifs buzzed around in my head, making it hard to pay attention.

Then the different panels were called forward and sat in the twelve seats to reveal any schedule conflicts. This gave me time to study some of my fellow jurors more closely. My grandmother taught me the art of people-watching. The courtroom was filled with quite a cross-section of our town, including various ages, races, and both genders represented.

Finally, I realized that this was research at its best. I tend to lean toward actual experiences or speaking with knowledgeable people instead of perusing the internet for my book research. And an added bonus for me is that most of my books find their setting right here in my town.

Another interesting tidbit is that my most recently contracted book actually contains a scene that takes place in this courtroom. Now that I’ve sat in it in my undercover author mode, I can’t wait to edit this section, making it more realistic.

Please allow me to encourage you to embrace your inner undercover author. Even dreaded tasks can render your next intriguing story. Go into your best observation mode and take it all in. Though you can find answers for many questions from your research by simply googling, nothing takes the place of experiencing and asking questions of experts. This type of research normally translates into my story becoming more alive for my reader.

Where have you found some of those great tidbits of research for your latest story?

To find out about For Our Good and Paula's other books, check out her Amazon page by clicking on the link below.

Paula Mowery's Amazon Page

Paula Mowery is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013 her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love was her first solo romance and was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards in 2015. Her other titles include a Christian romantic suspense called For Our Good, a Christmas romance called Love Again, and a romance inspired from the Love Chapter called The Crux of Honor.  
Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blogs, Full Flavored Living and Putting on the New. She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books. 
She is a member of ACFW and also on the faculty for the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. 
Paula is a pastor’s wife, a mom, and an interpreter for the deaf. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school. 
Learn more about Paula at her blog as well as find other links to connect with her at