In the name of research for my novel The Dare club, I have just booked to go to Go Ape to do their Tree Top Challenge in a couple of weeks time. Now I’m not scared of heights, but I’m not exactly the muscle-bound fitness freak type of person either. My exercise is generally restricted to taking the dog out between bouts of typing at my my desk. And it’s not that I haven’t got a good imagination, because I think I have – my stint at the comedy club kind of proved that for me. I don’t know where half that stuff came from! But… I’m not sure how well I could write about the challenge of hurtling through the air high up in the treetops on a Tarzan swing unless I’d done it.
OK, so my characters could dare each other to knit the world’s longest scarf, but it doesn’t pack the same kind of punch, does it? I wanted to have a go at abseiling and I might yet. But the only opportunity I could find in the next few weeks was a sponsored challenge to abseil down a 150 metre tower in Norwich, and as I’ve never done it before, that seemed a little too much. I mean, I’m not mad.
Or am I? I’ll let you know!
What lengths have you gone to in the name of research? I’d love to know.