Monday, July 28, 2014

Avoidable Contact: My Sleep Research

**8 Days Until Avoidable Contact Launches!**
**Read an excerpt of the book, and read posts about the research backstory and first 10 hours**

In the end, I couldn't stay awake all night at the 24 Hours of Daytona. But I thought I could manage if I slept three hours—which was a compromise between as little as I could get away with and as much as I thought would allow me to be functional. And it worked! Therefore, that's how much Kate sleeps in the book.

As a sidenote, when I conceived my brilliant idea of starting the book with the green flag and ending with the checkers, I didn't consider one basic fact that would really mess up my schedule: writing in first person means lost time when Kate can't think about solving the mystery. Driving time and sleeping time weren't sleuthing time! That's when I got a little creative with the book's timeline and my fictional race's yellow flags.

On a different note, one of the wonderful aspects of research—whether it's history, modern technology, physical locations, or races—is when the writer stumbles across a great story or activity that they can include in their books. For me the best moment of my trip to the Daytona 24 was standing on the spotter's platform, high above the track, at 2 a.m. The view was incredible. I had other opportunities to talk with one of the spotters (Dr. Chris Murray, a chiropractor in his real life) before the race, after the race, and again at the 2014 race, and thanks to his information, I gave Kate's spotters a great story to tell in the depths of the night. (So thanks, Dr. Chris! That's him on the right in the photo above. On the left is Bob Dickinson, TRG's COO.)

The morning of a 24-hour race is an incredible time. The teams are past the halfway point, but they're exhausted. The dawn and daylight bring a sense of renewed energy, and there's a sense that if we've made it this far, we'll make it all the way. The worst is over. Two blog posts took me through the night and the next morning:

I'll finish out the race with the last posts....

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