Posted by: Kathy Temean | May 16, 2013

In Your Face Research

Freefalling by Children’s Author Debbie Dadey

“I didn’t think you would do it,” my son Nathan told me when I fell out of an skydive3airplane at fourteen thousand feet.  But I was determined since I was writing a story about someone who skydived.  I learned that freefalling at one hundred miles an hour is very terrifying!  The sad thing is that I have never been able to sell that story.  But as a former librarian, I love doing research for my writing even if I don’t make a sale.  Each new story is an opportunity for learning. Sometimes that involves doing something just a bit crazy.

Mermaid Tales _4_NEW“I didn’t think you would do it,” my husband said to me when I climbed up the hundreds of steps to the sixty foot drop into a pool of sharks.  I didn’t tell him, but I almost chickened out at the top.  Still, it was a chance to get close to sharks and I was determined to do the research.  So, I took a deep breath and plummeted to what I feared was certain death.  Luckily, I lived to write Danger in the Deep Blue Sea, which is book four in the Mermaid Tales series from Simon and Schuster.

I’ve done some other things that were slightly less crazy for research, like the multi-axis trainer at Space Camp for Mrs. Jeepers in Outer Space, a trip to Hawaii for Werewolves Don’t Go To Summer Camp (who says research has to be hard?), and a trip to the dentist for Hercules Doesn’t Pull Teeth (I took notes the whole time).

MermaidTales_5_cvr (2)Another kind of research on told me that my seventy-seventh grandmother was Cleopatra of Egypt.  That led to the fun of writing my newest book, The Lost Princess (Mermaid Tales #5)

I think doing research with books or websites is fine.  But whenever I get the chance to do something hands-on, I try to take that scary leap.  What better way to be able to write about it than to actually experience it myself?  Who knows what’s just around the corner for me to learn?  Who will say to me, “I didn’t think you would do it”?  I just hope it doesn’t involve freefalling at one hundred miles an hour!

You can check out Debbie’s skydiving screams at  

Debbie Dadey is the author and co-author of 158 books, including The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series and the new series, Mermaid Tales.    LinkedIn   Twitter    Facebook

Do you have any in your face research you want to share?

Talk tomorrow,



  1. OK, Debbie, needless to say—I’m impressed! First—by how passionate (to say the least!) you are about research. And second—how CALM you were after landing! lol


  2. Debbie is a great mix of crazy and focused. Is there anything she won’t do for her “art”?


  3. Wow. I mean, just WOW. There is no way I would do that. Very impressive dedication to the craft.


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