Monday, August 24, 2009


If you're not already using Google Alerts to let you know whenever your name shows up on the Internet, now would be a good time to start. I get kind of a kick out of it, and set up an alert for my husband's name as well. Unfortunately, there's another guy out there who shares his name, and I need to weed things out from time to time.

Recently, I learned some other good uses for Google Alerts and wanted to share them with you.

Although the town in my manuscript is fictional, it's very near Aspen, Colorado. As a native, I've been to Aspen a number of times, but I don't live there. Setting up an alert to receive links whenever Aspen is mentioned helps keep me on top of current community issues I wouldn't otherwise know about.

A major element in my story involves black market organ procurement, so I have an alert set up to send me anything related to organ donation. I can use this information to make sure I have current angles woven into my story, as well as developing news sources to refer to in my query.

In addition to Google Alerts, I follow associated agencies on Twitter.

As a suspense novelist, research is imperative and my ability to be accurate about important issues is almost as important as telling a good story.

CR: Deception by Randy Alcorn.

It's all better with friends.


  1. Peg, please drop by my blog on Tuesday as I'll be passing on the Kreativ Blogger Award to a few of the bloggers I enjoy when I'm out blog-hopping.

  2. these are great ideas, peg! i never thought about staying connected to the real life community that inspires my series...but i bet it could result in all sorts of things.

    (google alerts would be creakily silent if i set it to look for me, thought ;)

  3. Very good points, Peg! I haven't even tried Google Alerts yet, I may have to do that. I am finding that this novel is requiring a lot more research than I had originally imagined. Yikes! And I'm supposed to have it done by conference. *gulp* I'm starting to lose confidence in that hope.

  4. Patricia, I'm glad you enjoy Suspense Novelist. Some days I do too!

    Jenny, I just Googled you. You will be getting invitations from LinkdIn and Facebook from me. You're all over the place!

    And Ralene, I feel your angst. My rewrites are not going nearly as fast as I was counting on. My deadline is 9/15. I'm not even half-way through them.

    Speaking of which . . .