'Do you know any professional gamblers?'
My mother shook her head as her forehead creased. 'Why?'
The crazy questions were not unusual. My friends and family were used to me asking weird and wonderful things.
'Because Gemini is a professional gambler. He mainly plays poker, but I've never been to a game. I need to find out what it's like so I can write it realistically.'
The shake of her head was followed by a tutting sound. My mother handed me the cup of tea she had just made. That's how eventful our lives were. I almost laughed at how predictable our visits had become.
'Maybe you should go and play to get a feel for it.'
My gaze snapped to her. What was she talking about?
'You are joking? I'm rubbish at keeping a straight face. I wouldn't have a clue!'
She shrugged. The smile on her lips made me question whether she was being serious. It would be the ideal way to research my story, but a bit extreme too.
'Why don't you ask around. I'm sure plenty of people have played a poker game.'
I let my breath out in a rush. She was right. There were plenty of things I could research myself, but a poker game was a little out of my league.
'Just remember one thing,' Mum said, avoiding eye contact. 'Not all research is scary. Isn't it about time you researched the romance you write about?'
If you've played a game of poker professionally, or struggled with a gambling addiction, please do let me know how you coped. Research is so important to a writer. It helps to deepen the story and experience.