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How to Cook Meth (and other embarrassing research searches)

I love to write fiction because theoretically I can get paid for lying and I love to lie. I'm a huge liar. As a matter of fact, I'm lying now so that actually makes me the most honest person in the world. Now that you're confused, I'll get to the point. Authors owe it to their readers to get their facts right in fiction despite it being a pile of made up crap.

Research is an integral part of your fiction since there are a million nerds out their just waiting to e-mail you that you screwed up your facts in your novel. The rich and famous authors can afford to travel to the locations they write about, where they'll spend their time sipping Guinness and interviewing the locals, listening to their colorful tales, but if you're like me, you only have two sources: the library and the Internet. With the advent of the World Wide Web, an author has access to almost any subject with a tap of the mouse, including dangerous and embarrassing subjects.
I'll get a lot of hits on this post from sickos trying to learn how to manufacture meth-amphetamines. They'll search just like I did, but the difference is, I only want to write about it.
The problem is organizations like the FBI and the Polk County Sheriff's Department are looking for these sickos and won't be able to differentiate between criminals and innocent, handsome authors. I can imagine if the FBI ever confiscated my computer and scanned the hard drive, they'd come to the conclusion I'm a sick, dangerous, perverted sociopath. Why? Because my last six books and two hundred short stories were about, war, sex, terrorism, assault rifles, drugs, pedophilia, genocide, patricide, matricide, fratricide, suicide, regicide, homicide, insecticide--no, wait a minute--skip that last one. Anyway, you get the point, these are things crime writers search for daily.
The reality is, I love babies, have not fired a gun since I was nine, and swerve my car to avoid slow turtles and fast squirrels.

Despite my caution, it's still hard to explain to your mother-in-law why you have instructions on how to cook meth on top of your desk. I was just lucky she didn't look in the drawers where I keep the instructions on making fertilizer bombs and have that list of white sex slave websites.
My best advice for you writers is to delete your history on your computer especially if you're sending it in to Best Buy for repair and forgot to delete the video of your two-year-old daughter doing cartwheels, Au natural. As parents, we think it's cute, but sixteen year old technicians will call the Polk county mounties and have your ass busted.
I guess I won't paste it on Facebook either no matter how adorable it is.


  1. Dear John,

    Enjoyed your post on research. I write mainly for children so not much of my research is suspicious looking. I do have a collection of wierd facts and other odd bits of information I think children would find fun and interesting. If you ever find yourself twiddling your thumbs check out my blog at

  2. Hi John, I really enjoyed the story on the FWA Conference Blog. Very moving.

    1. Thanks Bria. It was nice of Chris to share his excellent blog. Hope your writing is going well.


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