Today, on the Losing Francesca tour, I have a guest post from the author about researching for this book! And I have an international giveaway so be sure to join that one!
Title: Losing Francesca
Author: J.A. Huss
Date of Publication: July 1, 2013
Genre: contemporary YA romance
Francesca Sabatini came to America to take in the sights, celebrate her high school graduation, and have fun wasting time before college starts in the fall.That’s not what happens.Fresh off the plane and barely on American soil more than a handful of minutes, Francesca’s face is recognized by TSA scanners to be a match for a child who was kidnapped twelve years ago.Brody Mason remembers the day Fiona Sullivan went missing during a family vacation in Italy and it’s haunted him his whole life. So when Francesca shows up at the Sullivan farm down the road, he’s compelled to figure out if this girl really is his long lost friend.But Francesca knows she’s not Fiona Sullivan. She knows exactly who she is. At least she thinks she knows – until Brody Mason relentlessly pursues her and she begins to have feelings for him. Maybe being Fiona isn’t so bad?Reality becomes blurred, secrets are revealed, and life will never be the same when the final questions are answered: Is she Francesca or Fiona? And where does she really belong?
Researching Losing Francesca
by J.A. Huss
It’s funny what you get stuck on in researching stuff for a book. In my Junco series it was all about snipers and hand to hand combat. For Tragic it was cherry trees growing at high elevation, not modeling, which might surprise people. And for Losing Francesca it was all about Fiji.
I can’t even tell you very much because Fiji comes into play very late. But I almost feel like I’ve been there. I looked at it endlessly online, I studied the islands, I zoomed in on Google Maps, and took a walk down Queen’s Road, just like it happens in the book. I researched the good restaurants, the flight time from Bora Bora to Viti Levu, where they keep the helicopters, what the town of Nadi looks like, the music, the airport. I googled the politics, the army, the police force, the local market, the major exports… it was maybe a little bit out of control.
I pretty much spent all my research time on Fiji.
Which is pretty stupid because the girl was identified by a facial recognition scanner walking through security at LAX, yet I never once googled whether or not that software actually exists. This is fiction, if I say it exists and readers believe it, we’re all good.
I’m good at making up technical details, and I try to I make that stuff up every chance I get and not base it on reality because if you get too real, the “experts” start coming out of the woodwork questioning you. So it’s all about feeding readers just enough details to make them believe you without checking on anything. Since I write a lot of science fiction and most of that is just my wild imagination, I’m pretty good at making up technology. I bet no one asks about the facial recognition software because I bet no one cares. I only give you enough to be plausible and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities, so it never deserved my attention.
But somehow, Fiji deserved all my attention because people might be more interested in a tropical island than they are in software. It was a lot of fun too.
The story doesn’t take place in Fiji—it takes place in northeastern Ohio. But that’s where I grew up – right smack on the beaches of Lake Erie. So that was all stuff I already knew. Horses play a major role in the story too, but I’ve got a degree in equine science and I was a show jumper as a kid. The Sullivan farm was based off the show barn I worked and rode at back in Ohio.
There was one other topic I researched heavily, but I can’t say what it is because it’s a spoiler. But mostly, it was all about Fiji.
About J.A. Huss
J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).
She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.
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