Cindy Kirk
Cindy Kirk


Jaunty Post

When you start writing you get all sorts of advice…one of the most common is “write what you know.”

Okay, so that means I should write about life in Nebraska?   Or perhaps my day job for many years in…insurance?  Wow, I’d really like to read those books. lol

I believe the advice should be: “Know What You Write.”

In the book I’m currently writing, “A Sweetheart for Jude Fortune,” (out next February) here are some of the things I’ve had to brush up my knowledge on:

1. This book has a Latina heroine so I had to find common endearments her father would use when speaking with her.

2. She’s had a heart transplant so I’ve had to look up causes (and decide on a cause) of why she needed the transplant, then figure out how many meds she’s still be on etc.

3. I have the hero teaching the heroine to Texas Two-Step while she teaches him to Salsa.  So, I had to brush up my knowledge on those dances.

4. The book takes place not far from Lubbock Tx in February…so I had to become familiar with the average temperatures in the region for that time of year.

5. The heroine’s father is in a plane crash.  I had to decide why the plane crashed and since the crash is being investigated for possible sabotage, I have to know what agency investigates that kind of thing and how long it takes to get a determination.

The list goes on and on.  Most of the time the research is only shown in the book by a sentence or two.  I, like most readers, don’t like an “information dump” which is the author putting a bunch of unnecessary stuff in a book just to show she’s done her research.

But there’s nothing more I like than to read a book and not only enjoy the story, but learn something new.

How about you?  Have you learned anything new in a book?  I’d love to hear what it was….

C’mon, spill and let’s all learn something new today!!!



12 thoughts on “Write what you know….or Know what you write?

  1. Laurie G says:

    Stained glass artistry- Elizabeth Lowell A Woman Without Lies
    Nora Roberts also had a book about this

    Wedding Planning- Nora Roberts The Bride Quartet Series

    Running a winery- Christine Ridgeway & Susan Mallery

    Outback ranching – Margaret Way & Lyndsay Stevens

    Medieval life – Elizabeth Lowell Forbidden, Unforgiven

    Honey was used as a contraceptive by the Egyptians

    Indian way of life Karen Kay

    The French & Indian War/ Scottish Rangers- Pamela Clare- Surrender trilogy

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:


      What a great list! Thanks SOOOO much for sharing.

  2. catslady says:

    Lol Laurie has good answers. I can just say that I know I learn lots of things from everything I read. I never realize I know it until a topic comes up and I have answers I didn’t even know I knew lol. I read a lot of historicals and those are always full of historical facts but all books have something even if it’s just new vocabulary words.

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:


      I’m with you…the more I read, the more I realize how little I know. lol

  3. bn100 says:

    information about different time periods

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:


      I too, love learning interesting facts about different time periods!

  4. Shana Shana says:

    I remember that advice too, Cindy. I couldn’t figure out how it applied since I write historicals.

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

      I never even thought how that advice would apply to historicals Shana! 😀

  5. Thank you for your post, Cindy. I’ve learned a thing or two from fiction, though that’s not why I read it. For instance, it’s cool to know that during the Middle Ages, the most common laundry detergent was urine. We’ve come a long way, baby!

    As for that saying, “Write what you know”—well, it’s got to be one of my least-favorite clichés. Has anyone who writes science fiction ever been to another planet or the future? Has anyone who writes mysteries (other than Anne Perry) ever murdered anybody? And has anyone who writes erotic romances actually—well, never mind.

    Just my opinion, but I say, instead of write what you know, write about what interests you. Or better yet, fascinates you. With a little research, the knowledge will come.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:

      Mary Anne and Shana,

      I never even considered authors who write historicals or Sci Fi. lol

  6. Sharon Allen says:

    Researching a military funeral, I just learned about The Arlington Ladies. The are a group of 65 ladies who attend every single funeral year round at Arlington. Their premise is that every soldier would have someone in attendance to be there for their final salute. I was very touched by this.

    1. Cindy Kirk Cindy Kirk says:


      That is so cool. Another something I didn’t know!

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