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(Lots of) Research
Getting the dual timeline in I'm Going To Find You to work was vital. It was important to have two years that deftly linked the story of Emily, both as a child and an adult. The 1976 heatwave resonates with so many people and, after much consideration and looking at different options, this worked seamlessly with 2010. It was tremendous fun researching (and reliving in some cases!) the newsworthy and sporting events, fashions, music, TV programmes, magazines, food... and even the prices of everyday goods to ensure all the details in my book are authentic. By including small pieces of info about real 'things' it - hopefully - makes the reader feel like they are actually there with the characters.
Likewise 2010, although more recent, needed to be fact checked carefully too. I made sure there were no obvious errors that might spoil it for readers for both years. This included making sure there were no pop songs quoted that hadn't yet been released at the date of the story - I have spent a lot of time listening to Heart70's FM! - or incorrect references to anything that would jar or make the reader lose interest.
Since publication many people who remember the heatwave have said to me how the story has brought back so many details they had forgotten. The huge swarm of ladybirds, standpipes, dried-up reservoirs and relentless heat. It certainly was a memorable summer for a lot of people.
I absolutely loved doing the research as well as creating the plot and the characters... I am now enjoying immersing myself in two further years for book number two - 1987 and 2012!
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