By Martha Reed
The subject of my blog today might sound a little obvious but I come from a society where people do not carry handguns in their day-to-day living. When I lived in Texas I did occasionally see a locked gun cabinet as part of someone’s living room furniture and I did fire a shotgun once at a wide open field just to see what recoil felt like but it occurred to me while I was writing Chapter 25 this morning that my main character, Sarah Jarad, lived with a man who carried a gun as part of his everyday business accoutrement because John Jarad is a police Lieutenant.
This concept stumped me for two good long cups of coffee this morning because I had to consider a whole new train of thought: what would it be like to live with someone who went to work armed? What type of rules would Sarah and John agree on about carrying a semi-automatic weapon into their household? Does Sarah even allow the gun in the house? If not, is John comfortable about leaving his gun locked up outside in the lockbox of his truck every night?
This gun revelation caused all kinds of kerfluffle in my manuscript this morning mostly because I had to spend a couple of hours researching my knowledge of a ‘gun’. Oh, sure, I knew what a gun was but I had never had to define it down to specificity before. I knew about Colt .45s because of the beer and Dirty Harry’s .44 Make My Day Magnum but every detail I really knew about guns I had learned from television. Never before had I considered the very real and important details like make or model, caliber, drift & drop, trigger pull, handgrips or manageable recoil.
This research opened up a whole new world to me this morning and thank goodness for the internet because doing this much research ten years ago would have taken me a month. Now not only can I surf through police blogs to read the passionate arguments for and against each type I can also visit YouTube and more than likely find a video of someone demonstrating each exact make and model.
The upshot is that once I realized which gun John would carry (do you want to know?) it allowed me to go back through my manuscript and tighten it up in places I would never have considered before I understood how important this gun detail was. I realize now that John would be comfortable with carrying a gun, he would practice with his, and after reading through all those blogs I came to realize that gun collectors are fascinated by the mechanics of their particular piece of weaponry. This opened up a whole other line of conversation between the officers at the station and when I was done editing it in I sat still in amazement at how this one detail added so much color to the whole story.