1. Let’s say you happen to run into an old neighbor on Facebook, and she just happens to be the media/PR contact for US Speedskating.
2. You happen to ask her if she knows any athletes familiar with coming back from a tough injury so you can ask what that’s like and what sort of training they have to do to get in shape again since the main character in your book will have to do this.
3. Later that day, let’s say a famous Olympic speedskater e-mails you and offers to be interviewed.
4. You’re so excited, you write her back immediately with your questions.
5. Oddly, she then declines the interview until after the Olympics—which are a YEAR away. (Not that you’re in any hurry since sometimes it takes you about that long to write a first chapter you like.)
6. You brilliantly decide to go to her website AFTER this e-mail exchange and discover she’s freaking still in a cast because she just BARELY broke her leg in competition and she is DEVASTATED! She can’t answer your questions about coming back from an injury because she is STILL injured! (Old neighbor/media contact alluded to this, but you weren’t paying very close attention when you read her e-mail the first time because you were at work.)
7. You apologize profusely for being dumb, and she graciously writes back, and you exchange a few chatty e-mails, and you somewhat redeem yourself. Then you go find your notes from an old Highlights Writers Workshop on what TO do in an interview, and promise to share the list next post—after memorizing it.