Researching for a novel takes many forms. Some are much more exciting than others.
I was nervous. What if my hand jerked and I shot something I shouldn't? What if my aversion to guns got me so scared I couldn't pull the trigger? This research was one of those chores I knew I had to do, but wasn't sure I'd enjoy.
We drove a few miles from our farm, out beyond the last house, down a dirt trail that inclined sharply into a wash and up again, requiring four-wheel drive. A small hill was our backdrop for the boxes he'd brought for our targets.
I started with a 357 Magnum Smith and Wesson using 38 special ammo. He first taught me about the gun, gun safety and then the mechanics of firing it. I put in my earplugs, took my stance and squeezed the trigger. I nearly hit the center. Then again. Just off center. Hey, that was fun.
I moved on to a 38 Special Smith and Wesson, bobbed and snubbed. That was a fun little gun to shoot. I also shot a 22 rifle and a 20 gauge, side by side, double barrel shotgun. All fun. And my son couldn't get over how accurate and steady my aim was - first time out. I'm hooked. I didn't expect to come to an understanding of why gun enthusiasts find enjoyment shooting at a target. It's one of those activities you can't explain unless you've tried it.
A great deal of research can be done on the Internet. I'm lucky to have done quite a bit of traveling so I can draw on that for my settings. There's nothing like firsthand knowledge to lend credibility to my writing. Handling a gun now gives me the experience my heroine might need when the villain is around the next corner.