Werewolves and Poisoning Tea

Topics I researched on the Net

[for my novels and stories, of course]

By Jeff Salter

This week’s topic concerns what conclusions people might draw about me by looking at my internet search history. The general conclusion (someone might draw) is that I’m insatiably curious about anything that’s either un-explained or so incompletely explained that there remains considerably mystery. These broad areas will give you an idea of what I mean:

What actually happened to Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan, and their Lockheed Electra?

Who was really involved in the JFK assassination… and why?

Any given month that my search history would be checked, links to the following topics might be found: Stonehenge, Bigfoot sightings, video or photos of UFOs, reports of extra-terrestrials, and sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Plus you’d be likely to see links to interesting archaeological finds, certain scientific developments, and new information (especially photos) of planets, galaxies and space exploration in general.

See? I’m an intensely curious guy… and love to read about areas that interest me.

The photo depicts a different type of search, but I like the image.

And those are the general answers to the question posed by this week’s topic. But as an author, I find myself also doing extensive research in order to properly and accurately utilize settings, individuals, and events in my stories. What follows are some of the areas I had to research for various of my recently published titles.

Cowboy Out of Time

1885 cowboy clothing (especially britches), meals, dialog, and weaponry (especially the Single Action Army Colt .45).

Maps and history of early Alabama (before it was a state)

Native American tribes (of territories that later became Alabama and Texas)

Maps of Bay Minette, AL

Timeline of the American Civil War

Confederate units raised in a particular area of Texas

Maps and dates of the Battle of Shiloh

Minting, rarity, and value of silver dollars

The true relationship between a rattlesnake’s rattles and its age

Cowboy Ambushed in Time

Maps of war-time France

Clarification of British Double Summer Time

D-Day events and timetable (especially Utah Beach)

82nd Airborne Division

507th Parachute Infantry Regiment (especially 3rd Battalion)

Battles of La Fiere Causeway

Siege of Graignes

French resistance movement

City of Meautis

Details and involvement of the USS Texas and USS Nevada (especially technical aspects of their 14-inch guns)

Topography of the Cotentin Peninsula

How much money was issued to the Airborne troops before their drop (and the conversion rate of Francs to Dollars in 1944)

Interior features of Catholic churches

Mid-century treatment of a stab wound

Random Sacks of Kindness

Homelessness (especially statistics on crime, disease, and mental illness)

Deinstitutionalism movement of the 1960s

Stock Market crash of 2008

Interiors of hotel lobbies of early 1900s

Features of modern disaster relief trucks

1973 GMC pickup truck (especially the ignition system)

My Newly-Contracted Title [due out by Christmas]

1994 life in general

Stage of development and use of cell phones in that year

How widespread was the use of Internet in 1994

Cost of nursing homes in that year

Whether rattlesnakes lay eggs or bear their young “live”

1983 GMC Sierra (primarily details of its front end and grill)

Buddies Forever [one of my five stories in the anthology, Death Do Us Part]

Vietnam (history, maps, campaigns, operations, dates)

The De-Militarized Zone (DMZ)

Forward fire bases (especially Fire Base Mary Ann)

Units assigned to Fire Base Mary Ann

Medical aid stations, field hospitals, and base hospital facilities

Morgue operations and features

The 16-ounce M-26 Lemon grenade

Werewolves and poisoning tea

I know y’all have been wondering about my early mention of werewolves and poisoning tea.

Suffice it to say that the Loup Garou plays a vital part in an unpublished story I’ve set in the bayous of Louisiana. For those of you who do not realize it, the Loup Garou is the particular “breed” of werewolf that prowls in the bayous.

I did a lot of research on exotic tea blends and poisons for my story “Murder on Her Mind” which appeared in the same anthology as “Buddies Forever.”


I think you can see that my search history would be all over the place. And, most likely, you would NOT find all the searches about morgue operation (as one example) in one sequence… because it’s far more likely that I’d find a detail I needed, then return to my drafting, then realize in a later draft that I needed further clarification, etc.


Is there anything “unusual” in YOUR internet search history?

[JLS # 505]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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12 Responses to Werewolves and Poisoning Tea

  1. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Unless we have expertise in a particular area, we need to depend on others for help in making our stories authentic. I use the internet a lot when I need to find answers to particular questions, but as I mentioned on Monday (in response to a comment), sometimes it’s easier – and better – to ask someone in that field. When I had specific questions about how things worked in early 19th Century France (for Three French Inns), I actually emailed a history professor at GVSU who kindly agreed to answer my questions. For Christmas Phoenix I emailed an ice sculptor who kindly sent me his phone number and invited me to call him. But the internet is by far the most used resource, and often the first one to check.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      yes, and as you know, I often ask the FB audience general questions (for which general information will suffice my needs). But, as you also noted, there’s nothing better than direct contact with an expert in that particular topic.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    I LOVE research. I fall down rabbit holes all the time. So much to learn. So much fascination. For me, it’s not enough to get a question answered. I want the minutest details. The details lend to the authenticity of my stories.
    I’ve been known to Google how long it takes to bleed out from certain wounds, the geography of islands and the depth of the water surrounding them, the meaning behind colors of a person’s aura, weather phenomena like ball lightning, 1st-century Roman society, military, and slang, base jumping, onion poultices, and the list goes on. My most recent searches include carnival “freak shows” and their performers.

    Great topic. Your searches are quite intriguing, Jeff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, duh, Jeff. If you watched the X-Men movies, you know that Magneto killed JFK. Sheesh!

    But where’s the research on fairies and leprechauns and fairy rings…(ahhh…sorry, I’m working on my short story about them right now for my holiday collection. hee hee).

    The most unusual research I’ve done for a story was just how deep a stab wound can go before it actually kills someone. This depends on a lot of factors, all which had to be added into the equation and thoroughly research. I not only asked my medical friends, but searched a lot of sites online to get every detail answered.

    For another story, I had to know about drugs that rendered people unconscious and all the nitty-gritty on those. Again, a lot of variables here.

    After years of research online, I’ve come to the conclusion that any author who deals with crime research could very possibly commit the perfect crime without any detection from the government or authorities, because we’ve probably pinged every alert warning they have set up in their systems so many times, they simply ignore us now. ROTFLOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Salter says:

      LOL — yeah, that’s a scary thought… that diligent authors researching their stories might have “pinged” alert warnings at [wherever] many, many times.
      In my case, the Loup Garou will be easiest to explain. Ha.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yours are at least explainable. As for mine, well, I will go into detail tomorrow, but as I sat and thought, I wonder what kind of an idea someone WOULD get from mine???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      possibly explainable if one looks at them under the title for which they were referenced. But if they appeared as a scrambled hodge-podge of links and no context… it might be cause for alarm.
      Eager to see what the Friday Fox has to say.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. trishafaye says:

    Remind me if I’m ever there for a visit, I think I’ll pass on joining you for a cup of tea LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I too have googled things like the Loch Ness Monster and who killed JFK. Like me, you truly are all over the place.

    Liked by 1 person

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