When Research Goes Wrong, by Elle Kennedy


ONoSin_500I do quite a lot of research for my books, particularly for my romantic suspense titles. Needless to say, I know way too much about firearms and explosives, foreign governments, military strategies, and whatever else I need my deadly military characters to be involved in. For my erotic contemporary romances, however, I usually include real-life moments or observations in the plot. But for this latest series with Entangled Brazen, I actually ventured out to experience the world in which my characters live.


I didn’t go to Boston, where One Night of Sin takes place, but I did visit a nightclub for the very first time. The After Hours series features three heroes who co-own a nightclub called Sin, and since I’ve never been a clubber, I figured I needed to experience the club scene to find out what it was all about.


What you should know about me before I continue: 1) I’m a huge dork—my idea of a good time is gardening or playing Scrabble. 2) I don’t drink. 3) I can’t dance. 4) I hate dance/techno/house/etc music. 5) I don’t like loud places or loud people.


Bottom line: I don’t think I’m the perfect candidate to go to a club.


In One Night of Sin, the heroine meets the man of her dreams at a nightclub. I’m sure this happens in real life too. It did not happen to me.


Here’s the short version of my night of clubbing:


A friend and I paid the cover charge and walked into the dark club. It was loud. I hated it right off the bat.


I ordered a Coke from the bar and paid a million dollars for it.


I didn’t venture onto the dance floor because I wasn’t in the mood to be made fun of, so we stood along the wall and people-watched. Didn’t see any interesting people.


Thirty minutes later…still standing by the wall, screaming to each other over the music. The song that was playing was pretty good—it was a dance remix of an 80’s tune. I like 80’s music.


My friend went to the bathroom. I was alone.


A twenty-something guy with hair longer than mine started walking toward me. As he walked past, he leaned in—AND LICKED MY EAR. Then he took a few steps as if to walk away, casually turned around, and said, “Oh hey, did I just lick your ear?”


I said yes, and that I didn’t appreciate it.


He asked if he could buy me a drink.


I said no.


My friend finally returned and we decided to call it a night. I got home by ten o’clock and took a very long shower.


That, guys, is real life. Or at least, my life. I was hoping my nightclub research would inspire me to write a realistic portrayal of my fictional nightclub, but after that experience, I decided realistic was overrated. Gage Holt from One Night of Sin is a bouncer at the club, and under no circumstances would he ever walk by a stranger and lick her ear—unless she asked him to J


Still, I’m very proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone for the sake of research. As a writer, I know I’ll never experience some of the crazy things that happen in my books, but if I have the chance to do some hands-on research, I usually won’t pass up on it.


But…note-to-self: clubbing isn’t for you, Elle. Please remember that.


About Elle Kennedy




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3 Replies on When Research Goes Wrong, by Elle Kennedy

  • O-M-G he licked your ear!?! What the hell? I’ve never been a clubber either but the one time I did go I had so much fun. Danced for like 4 hours straight but I was there with girlfriends and my husband so no one was trying to lick my ears. lol

  • I love it…and isn’t it simply amazing what some guys think is a good pick up line/action/etc? How many women would swoon when a complete stranger, one who hasn’t even made eyes at you, comes up and licks you? I can’t imagine many…but he must have gotten away with it once or twice in the past, especially if his next action wasn’t to duck.

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