1. Google Maps. This was the first time I'd ever really used Google maps since its inception (c'mon, who didn't try looking up their house on there when it came out?), and the most intensively. Having chosen the real life Louisiana town of Arnaudville as a basis for my mythical Peaceville, I spent some time virtually wandering the streets to check out the location, the condition and direction of the roads, businesses, the rivers, cars, houses, facilities etc. Of course, it doesn't totally replace the actual experience of going there, but it's better than just looking at a standard road map.
2. Youtube. I used youtube a heck of a lot. Initially to pick up the Cajun accent and typical vocabulary for Louisiana teens. The more I listened, the more I fell in love with it! (my original experience with the accent was Gambit from the X-Men cartoons. Probably not the best example, but I just loved how he said 'cher' to Rogue). Then a friend directed me to several videos of wildlife tours in Louisiana after I asked about animal noises you might hear. Sounds, sights and smells, however background, are so important to setting the scene and giving it realistic depth. Again, no replacement for actually going there, but it helps.
3. Cajun language website. http://www.louisianacajunslang.com/language.html
I found this by a simple Google search, but later had it recommended to me by someone I'd been put in contact with about the language. I used this A LOT!
4. Wikipedia. Well of course. Who doesn't use it? Although I never take it as the be all and end all of knowledge, it's usually the first place I start. However, thanks to a discussion on Facebook on why zombies eat brains and the mention of Louisiana voodoo, it was Wikipedia that sparked off the idea of RIP. Most of the elements in RIP were originally researched from there, then backed up or changed after further research elsewhere.
5. Brains! Yeah, what else would I use for a zombie story?! Lol. But not how you might think. In this case it was picking of people's brains. One of the great things about the internet, especially platforms like Facebook and Twitter, is you can connect with people all over the world. I'm fortunate to have friends on both who are Louisiana born and/or raised, or knew people or resources that could help me. And the Twitter hive mind is awesome! Put a question out on Twitter and someone, somewhere, will be able to answer it or direct you to a resource that can help. (and Twitter is the best place to find me if you want to chat).
What's your number one place to find information?
Welcome to Peaceville, population 2067 and rising...from the grave...
Luke Chester has had enough. He’s the school geek, the girls laugh at him, he’s lost his dead-end job at the pizza place, and in the midst of the world’s messiest divorce his parents don’t even know he exists. An overdose of his mom’s tranquilizers and a stomach full of whiskey should solve all his problems... But they don’t. Instead, Luke finds himself booted out of the afterlife for not dying a natural death, with nowhere to go but back to his recently vacated corpse and reality. How the hell is he going to pass for one of the living without someone trying to blow his brains out for being one of the undead? And it just gets worse. He’s got to fight his own desperate craving to consume the living, evade the weird supernatural hunter who’s having a field day with the new undeads rising, and there’s this creepy black shadow following him around. Add to that the distraction of female fellow undead Annabelle burning to avenge her own murder, and clearly there’s no rest for the wicked. Jeez, all he wanted to do was R.I.P.
Lycaon Press – http://www.lycaonpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=1&products_id=41
Bookstrand – http://www.bookstrand.com/restless-in-peaceville
Add it to your Goodreads TBR here – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22062985-restless-in-peaceville
Sign up to my no-spam newsletter to get updated on the latest releases, giveaways and special offers. Exclusive snippets and stories coming soon! http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk/p/newsletter-signup.html
After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.
Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include a YA science fiction novel—Gethyon—published through BURST (Champagne Books), a scifi romance novella—Tethered—published by Breathless Press, three self-published short stories (Terms & Conditions Apply, The Bones of the Sea, and Reboot), and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).
You can stalk her at her website http://pippajay.co.uk, or at her blog http://pippajay.blogspot.co.uk, but without doubt her favorite place to hang around and chat is on Twitter as @pippajaygreen.
Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
Adventures in Scifi - http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge - http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres - http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/
SFR Brigade - http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Pinterest - http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/
Wattpad - http://www.wattpad.com/user/PippaJay
Amazon page - http://www.amazon.com/Pippa-Jay/e/B0080QVWEE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406376408&sr=8-1
Code for the rafflecopter giveaway (open 1st September to the 1st October, international) –
For free Wordpress sites, link to rafflecopter page –
Trailer URL -https://www.youtube.com/watch?