Monday, May 02, 2011

Building a Monster Bug, and Other Writerly Research

I sometimes find myself doing research for my stories in the strangest of places. Like this week when I found myself on a local Seattle pest control website.

I love to use animals and bug creatures of all kinds in my stories for kids, and have found it zooms the interest level up when I do – a story bonus both for the kid readers, and for the busy editor who wants something a little startling or unusual.

So I was delighted when I found the kid page on the Eastside Exterminator website. The very first Fun Fact (about an ant lifting 50 times its weight) gave me a great idea for a story for Clubhouse Magazine, one of my current publication targets.

I admit I got sucked into the website for longer than I’d planned, when I discovered the Build a Monster Bug Game included on the site. But hey! I built a very credible lady bug while I was there, and now I’m mulling around a way to get ladybugs, of which I’m particularly fond, into another of my stories.

I encourage all you kids, and writers for kids to take a look. Even those of you who like to write scary stories may be inspired. (Did you know a cockroach can live up to 9 days after losing its head? Now that’s creepy!)

Have fun with your research. You just might find yourself coming up with a brand new story that excites and delights you.

And your readers too.

PS. If you happen to run into any real bug problems (like I did when wasps invaded our house the week of our big family reunion) Eastside Exterminators can help out there too!

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