I’m writing a scene. The heroine is wearing some sexy stilettos. No. That term is overused. I need something better, something more descriptive. So I head to the Internet for . . . research. A quick search for “sexy women’s heels” starts the ball rolling. I scroll through page after page, website after website, looking for the exact match to what I imagine my heroine is wearing. And, oh, look! I’ve been wanting a pair black patent leather slingback pumps. Hmmm. I don’t need them but . . . here they are . . . and here I am looking at them . . . and if I click out of this site I may never find them again.

An hour later, I have no new words in my manuscript, but I’ve got a new pair of shoes on the way!

And how many hours have I spent searching out pictures of hot guys online? Luckily, it’s to research facial features and appropriate descriptions for the male body. Otherwise one would think I have a . . . problem.

But for the purposes of this post, I’d like to focus on research as a justification for stalking people we don’t know online, and how this relates to my newest book, All I Need Is You.

A while back, this video of Duo Flame popped up in my Facebook feed:

I watched it dozens of times before searching out more:

OMG! At the end of this one, he proposes. On live TV! I fell absolutely in love with this couple!

I searched out their names, their website, and more videos! I learned they were adagio performers, which then sent me off to research adagio–a form of dance that combines acrobatics and acro-balance.

My addiction to this next video is when I decided Aiusha Fonti, the female performer in Duo Flame, would serve as inspiration for Neve in All I Need Is You. (I had to do something. Every time my husband and children heard the music they’d say, “You’re watching that video again?” I know it reeks of addiction that I tried watching it in secret, without the music on. But it just wasn’t the same. So the next time I was caught I simply said, “It’s research for my next book!”)

Please, you MUST click on this link!

Once I decided Aiusha Fonti was the inspiration for Neve, it was perfectly acceptable to follow her on Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram, right?

Right! Because that’s how I learned she does workouts on a stripper pole, and why I put a stripper pole in Neve’s bedroom, and how I found this inspiration for the routine Neve did while Rory peeked through the door to watch:

#pole #aiusha #poledance #training #poledancing

A video posted by Aiusha & Vladyslav (@duoflame1) on

So what’s your take on all this? Online stalking run amok? Or research? Or a little bit of both?