As an aspiring novelist I love featuring posts from writers that help explain the writing process and so I’m delighted to welcome Kathryn Freeman to Linda’s Book Bag. Kathryn’s latest novel Search for the Truth is published by Choc Lit and is available in e-book and paperback from online retailers including Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Search for the Truth
Sometimes the truth hurts …
When journalist Tess Johnson takes a job at Helix pharmaceuticals, she has a very specific motive. Tess has reason to believe the company are knowingly producing a potentially harmful drug and, if her suspicions are confirmed, she will stop at nothing to make sure the truth comes out.
Jim Knight is the president of research and development at Helix and is a force to be reckoned with. After a disastrous office affair he’s determined that nothing else will distract him from his vision for the company. Failure is simply not an option.
As Tess and Jim start working together, both have their reasons for wanting to ignore the sexual chemistry that fires between them. But chemistry, like most things in the world of science, isn’t always easy to control.
Not making things up
A Guest Post from Kathryn Freeman
It’s a pleasure to be on your blog today – thank you so much for hosting me. I thought I’d talk a little about writing and research.
When I’m not writing romantic fiction I work as a self-employed medical writer. Prior to that I worked for several pharmaceutical companies. As part of my role, I’m required to do a lot of research – diseases, how they’re managed, new therapies, how they work. I love this part of my job, expanding my knowledge, and when I began to write romantic fiction it’s one thing I thought I’d miss. After all, it’s fiction, so I can make it up, surely?
It’s all very well me deciding who my protagonists are going to be, for example a defence barrister and a police detective (Too Charming) but how can I write about them clashing at work when I don’t actually know how the law works? It’s not just law I’ve had to research either. There’s been refugee camps, Harley-Davidsons, police procedures, treatment for hypothermia and cholera … and that was just for my first two books. The trouble with writing romance, I began to realise, is that my characters have to actually do something, aside from falling in love.
So when it came to writing my next book, I decided my characters were going to do something I knew a little about for a change. Don’t worry, I don’t mean fiddling about on my computer, doing the school run or burning toast…no, I mean they were going to work in an environment I’ve worked in. Hence Search for the Truth is set in the pharmaceutical industry. It is all still very much fiction – I’m glad I’ve never worked for a company like Helix pharmaceuticals! – and I still had to do some research (shoes, time zones and laboratory tests for cardiotoxicity to name but a few) but this time I had some idea what my hero and heroine did for a living.
Did it make writing the book any easier? Actually, no. Because it isn’t a book about life in the pharmaceutical industry, it’s a romance. Tessa might have joined Helix pharmaceuticals in a bid to find out whether their new cancer drug was the cause of her mother’s death, but the real story is what happens when she starts working for the magnetic, dynamic head of the research and development department, Jim Knight. That’s where the writing really starts, making the characters believable, their interactions stir the blood and tug at the emotions. That writing doesn’t involve any research, because it’s written from the heart.
About Kathryn Freeman
Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctor’s handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications. In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.