Researching…For The Win!

One of the most interesting parts of writing my new book the slow, outline-y way is that I get to spend a lot of time in the lead-up doing research.  I guess maybe some stories don’t necessarily need much research, but I’m guessing most novels would benefit from a little looking under the rug in places.  Hell, even my last novel would have benefited from some investigation, and it was about being a fourteen year old girl in Atlanta, something I have actually been.  But I digress.

Yeah, I’m reading. Getting to know stuff. It’s called learning, homes.


My new novel is about a young woman who lives next door to a serial killer in rural Wisconsin in the early 1960’s.  Yeah.  I need to do a lot of research.

But seeing as how I’m a giant nerd, the research is going pretty well at this point.  I get to research psychopathy, which appeals to my inner goth girl, and the 60’s, which appeals to my inner hippie.  Plus, the research excuse gives me an excellent way to pick what book to read next out of the vast, vast list of books I want to read.

So far, I have purchased:

– Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me, about Ted Bundy and the fact that Rule used to work with him (ack!).

– A Father’s Story by Lionel Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer’s father.  I have to admit, I’ve wanted to read this book for about a decade, but wasn’t sure I could stomach it. Now I’ve got the perfect excuse to dive in for what (I hope) will be a challenging and interesting read.

– Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, which I hope is as informative as the excerpt I read was funny.

– When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins, which was originally a suggestion from my lovely mother, feminist extraordinaire!

But I want more!  I need more!  I’ve gotta feed the snarling, drooling animal in my brain, hungry for information!  What are your favorite books from or about the 60’s?  What books have you read by someone close to a psychopath, or about psychopathy in general?  I’m open to suggestions, because this research thing?  It’s kinda awesome.