I’ve talked about this before, but because I’m in the middle of edits for Chaos Unbound and I’m running into it again, I’m bringing it back up.
For my books, I do tons of research and base things on stuff I am very familiar with. What I don’t know as well as I would like, I spend inordinate amounts of time researching. Way too much, in fact. However a lot of those details get left out because they are likely way more information than the reader wants, or maybe even needs. I’m a detail guy, so I go into painful amounts of details about approaching a beachhead during an amphibious assault–how the current changes, how the bottom changes and what that tells you. How you gauge distance and direction, what tools you use and that kind of stuff. I think its cool. But it is 1000 words that don’t really tell you much beyond the fact I am intimately familiar with the process being described. Eh, so who cares.
I get the same way with guns. Because so much of my writing is based in as much reality as I can manage (given that vampires, witches and immortal Greek heroes exists), I try to be as realistic as possible. So when I talk about sniper rifles and such and its glossed over in the final edition, please know that when I say sniper rifle, I have a very specific rifle in mind–like an Accuracy International AX338– and I know a lot about that weapon. Nope I’m not a gun nut, I just like to be accurate in what I’m talking about.
Oh and to the Men In Black, in Chaos Unbound, all the research on North Korea that I did was legit. And what I couldn’t find (which not surprisingly is a lot) I made up. I swear.