Research in Vegas

Here’s a great reason to set parts of your novel in Las Vegas: research.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.  All the web research in the world can’t replace the experience of being there in person.

Things I got wrong.  I thought the fence around the Bellagio fountain was cast iron.  Wrong!  This makes a scene in book 2 of the Sinners on Tour series, Rock Hard, a bit more challenging to orchestrate.   

Railing at the Bellagio

How do you stand on this thing? With the support of a strong man.


How is Jessica supposed to stand on this in three-inch heels?  I guess Sed will have to offer his “support”. And the water is deeper than I imagined. But the fountain itself is absolutely stunning.  And so romantic.  The perfect place for Sed and Jessica to be naughty in public.   

The Bellagio fountain

The Bellagio fountain in action.


I didn’t get to see the fountain at night, which is when the scene in the book takes place.  I might need to go back for more research.
I also didn’t get to see the song that’s playing during the scene in the book.  They were listening to “Near, Far” by Celine Dion.  We were treated to “Luck Be a Lady”.  There’s not quite the same level of romance in that song.
Another scene in “Hard Rock” takes place on the gondola ride inside the Venetian Hotel.  I got this one right.  The water is the perfect depth.  There are plenty of spots where Sed’s psycho-fan-chic could have jumped into the water without killing herself.  But now I can add those little details I wouldn’t have picked up on without being there.
The Grand Canal at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

Just as I imagined it. Except for the seat belts on the ride. Yep. Had to make some changes because of the seat belts. Stupid seat belts.


Did you know the ride has seat belts?  I didn’t.  So Jessica can’t sit on Sed’s lap in this scene.  I had to fix that, too.  This gondolier sang “That’s Amore” and the gondolier on their romantic trip sings “Sole Mio”, but that will work fine.  I also got a look at the security guards, which will play a role in that scene.  The dock, the water, the scenery.  The description will all be richer due to this research.   

Bridge over the Grand Canal.

The bridge where Sed's psycho-fan-chic recognized him. And cannonballed into the canal.


Who knew research could be so fun?
And then there were things I didn’t go to check out specifically that inspired ideas.

Fountain in Vegas

I can totally picture my characters frolicking in this fountain. Yep.


The Luxor

This looks like a good place to steal a kiss. Cop a feel. Share a secret.


So I highly suggest you visit the settings of your novels whenever possible.  It adds a richness to setting and is sure to inspire all sorts of ideas.  Plus, it’s tax deductible!
I think I’ll set my next novel in Milan…

Olivia Cunning at the Bellagio

Olivia Cunning, slightly sunburned, at the Bellagio Fountain.