In your books, there are often precise descriptions of professional activities: computer, pastry, woodcarving, conducting an orchestra and composing music, and of course ranching, to mention just a few. It's mostly not just the overall general stuff, but glimpses into very specific aspects or techniques. It certainly lends credibility to both your characters and your stories. Where or how do you get this info?
That's a good question because sometimes I wonder that myself. :) Honestly, I'm a fifty plus year old man who has had the blessings of living a life with varied experiences and my own extraordinary cast of characters around me. I do tend to pick subjects that I know something about. As an example, while I have never conducted an orchestra, I know people who have and I spent many years singing in choirs. My partner worked as a pastry chef for many years so all things cooking are bandied about in our house all time. (This is one of our differences. He's a foodie and loved to discuss everything he eats. Me I eat so I can go on to other things. Whenever I say that, he looks at me like I'm some pitiable fool and then goes right on talking.) I once asked my eye doctor during my exam for information so I could explain why a character was blind. That was a hoot. :)
There is another tool that is the writer's friend, Google. Research is sometimes the key to getting some of the details right. However I have learned that sometimes it can lead you astray as well. So I try to use multiple sources and check facts as well as possible. Then once I have these facts I relate them to something I already know.
I have to say that I use knowledge, research, and then mix them in my own imagination to come up with the story and how I'm going to use them in the story. And lastly I have to give credit to my amazing editor. Not only does she edit my words, but she also checks facts and has additional experts review my work to help make sure that I have my facts straight.
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