Sunday, March 25, 2018

Facebook Fallout

Drop out of Facebook? Never. As a writer, I have too much fun roaming the world on the internet. It’s like a surprise package every time I open Facebook to see what goodies they’ve come up with for me to enjoy.

My characters travel the world. I often look for the most expensive hotels in remote parts of the world as well as the worst accommodations possible. One of my first excursions abroad was to take the Blenders to Johannesburg. As they are all extremely wealthy, I sent them first class through Germany. I really, really want to get rich and travel like that! Champagne and caviar all the way. Petit fours and tea. Sigh.

Unfortunately the tour package they’d arranged put them up at less than desirable accommodations in Johannesburg. But along the way, they made friends with a very nice police officer who also turned up at their elegant safari lodgings following a murder.

All this research brought a swarm of adverts on Facebook for lodgings, airlines, and crime stories about South Africa.

Then we went to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. Now there’s an interesting place. Al and Larry were on this sojourn and had to get kidnapped and abandoned in the Gobi Desert. I learned about the annual horse race, more than I ever wanted to know about Ghengis Khan, and Soviet-era apartment blocks. I also learned that although officially it is illegal to discriminate against gays, it certainly is done. Larry and Al had to be very circumspect, something they were used to in their younger days in the States.

At the moment I’m staying in Honolulu in a first class hotel and about to put someone up in the cheapest possible room. Some of my people were in Seoul and I needed to know a high crime area. I learned that alcoholism is a huge problem in Korea. The statistics are disturbing, especially among the youth of the country. Far worse than occasional binge drinking, and that’s serious enough.

Each time I look something up, there it is – a surprise. Sometimes I look for certain style clothes for my characters to wear, and there they are waiting for me on Facebook. 

Give up the fun? Not on your life.

But they won’t get my bank account or social security numbers.

Veronica Helen Hart is the award-winning author of The Blender Series, The Prince of Keegan Bay, Swimming Corpse, Safari Stew, and Midnight in Mongolia. Her other books, The Reluctant Daughters, Elena – the Girl with the Piano, and Silent Autumn are all available from Champagne Books, Create Space and/or Amazon.