While writing up one of my pieces for Education.com, I contacted the St. Louis Carnivorous Plant Society. I had been to one of their shows several years earlier and was convinced that they would be able to point me in the right direction for the information I needed.
Not only did Deborah S. help me find what I needed, she pointed out a mistake in my logic. “Venus Fly Traps won’t do well in a terrarium.” No way! How could that be true? I’d been doing my research. I’d seen the plant for sale in terrariums. Maybe so, but the more research I did showed me she was right. Although some stores sell them in terrariums, they need a period of winter dormancy that the other plants don’t need. That’s going to make things tough.
While I was finishing up this piece, I was also working on a piece on how to take photos to supplement your writing. I visited tons of photography web sites. Who to interview? I went with the highly scientific methodology of picking photographers whose work I loved. Enter one Jose Villa, wedding photographer. After he agreed to do an interview, I did a bit more reading and found that he has been named one of the top ten wedding photographers World Wide. World Wide. Intimidated much? Still, he gladly shared his time and expertise.
When you are writing something up, consult with the experts. Call them. E-mail them. Sure, it can be a little intimidating (top ten world wide!) but who else can better inform your writing than the pros? And, especially when you tell them you are writing for children or about writing for children, they are more than willing to share.