Yes, that's right. Garbage Juice.
For those of you who don't know what garbage juice is, it's that delicious secretion that seeps out of garbage bags and always magically seems to get on your hands and clothing no matter how hard you try to avoid it. The smell, is rancid. The texture is that of rotten milk (typically....). Oof. Just the thought of seeing garbage juice makes me want to hurl.
Yet, I experienced garbage juice all the time during my teenage years when I worked in the mall. And my vivid memories of garbage juice made me realize I had to put it into my writings of COPERNICUS NERDICUS.
Don't worry, garbage juice wasn't the only thing I threw into that book.
This is a picture of the mall I used to work in when I was a kid. One of two malls where I was an employee at ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE. A video game store back in the day that was bought out by GAMESTOP. Anyway, a huge portion of my book takes place in the confines of a mall. Luckily for me, I know how a mall works, inside and out.
There are countless scenes from COPERNICUS NERDICUS that I've taken from real life. Getting locked in a mall, crawling into a garbage compactor (yes I had to because I dropped the store keys in there), racing down the hallways behind the food court, and getting lost in the shipping depot where the trucks dropped off deliveries. All because I worked in the mall.
The funny thing is, I don't even walk into a mall now without seeing giant robots destroying it. And I love it lol.
Do you know what it comes down to though? Real life is your best bit of research for letting your book shine and in fact even making it more believable. I'm not saying that you can do everything that you write about in your book, but it's important to make sure that you research as much as you can.
The current novel I'm writing is about Easter Island. Now I have a lot of revisions to make based on all the research I'm doing, and hell now I even want to go to Easter Island. I'm even interviewing people who have been there just to make sure I'm getting all the nitty gritty down tight.
I guess the real message of this quick post, is that you really need to dig deep into everything you've done in your life and throw that into your books whenever you can. Your imagination is a strong weapon, but sometimes things that have happened in your real life, can make your book even stronger.
Even if that means putting your hands into some garbage juice.