Researching my next book!

While I’m deep in the querying process for my first adult novel and my first secular picture book, I’ve started to research my next book. I began with digging out some old interviews I did for an article I published about the Jewish experience of the Cold War, and have acquired some reading material which should help.

And now I’m doing interviews!

Since my university background is in anthropology, I spent quite a bit of time learning how to do interviews for research purposes. It’s a little different than interviewing for an article, because you ask many people similar questions, and then look for patterns and anomalies in those patterns. It took a couple interviews to get into the groove, but now I’m having a blast, and learning a bunch, too.

saint basil s cathedral

Photo by Julius Silver on Pexels.com

I love the way so many questions I ask lead to new questions, unexpected little journeys.

In case you are wondering, the topic I’m researching is living under Communism as a Jewish person. I’ve got many female respondents so far, and many people from Russia or the Ukraine. If you are Eastern European, from a Central Asian republic, or male, who was born before 1984 (so you have some memory from before the fall of the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact), and you would like to be interviewed, email me at beccaklempner@gmail.com.

Conducting interviews to bring realism to your fiction

cuban missile crisis

Radio and television connected Americans with the facts of the ongoing crisis, and also increased their anxiety about its dangers.

You’ll find my story “Duck and Cover” in this week’s Binyan. While I lived through the tail-end of the Cold War, I’m not old enough to have survived the Cuban Missile Crisis, the setting for my story. In order to get details about how teens reacted to the situation, I conducted brief email interviews of a number of subjects who were old enough to remember the events. I asked about their feelings, how they coped with them, how they heard about the crisis, how the adults around them (both parents and teachers) reacted, and so on.

How did I use the interviews?

The responses I received were fascinating, and often contradictory, Continue reading