Saturday, May 16, 2020

Outsiders and Outliers

I'll be brief. Thanks to Les Stroud, aka Survivorman, (who --many years ago-- was gracious enough to write the cover quote for my alien-survival-romance Insufficient Mating Material), I discovered research "gold" today on YouTube.


Les Stroud, aka Survivorman, shows a wide variety of survival scenes in popular movies and points out what they did right, and what they got wrong. His insights are remarkable.

Seduced by the sidebar, intellectually speaking, I then "discovered" the fascinating Jonna Mendez, a CIA mistress of disguise, who walks viewers through a variety of action/spy movie clips, with commentary. Apparently, Tom Cruise got one of his Impossible Missions badly wrong, no matter how wonderful he looked in a long black dress. There are three professions that the secret services will never use as a disguise, and Jonna Mendez explains.


Former FBI agent Jim Clemente discusses how the FBI detects lying and deception. Topical, that.

Apparently, most liars are caught because they don't lie with enough detail. Jim Clemente asks the sort of question that every would be author plotting a well-developed hero (or any other character) ought to ask and commit to note cards.

When nosing out the truth, a good agent cannot rely on myths, and short cuts. Just because I cover my mouth with my hand does not mean that I am a liar.... I might have bad teeth! (He did not say that.)

Another former FBI spy catcher and body language expert, Joe Navarro, explains how to read body language.


As Romance authors, we know about the different stages of touching, from the first brush or shake of the hero's and heroine's hand. Joe Navarro explains how and why touching is important.... and if we are all doomed to never shake hands with a stranger again post Covid-19, at least we will know why we are missing what we are missing.

Finally, a real expert archer, Cameron Hanes, critiqued a selection of bow scenes, and gave particular props to  Legolas actor Orlando Bloom for his technique. Skip to frame 17.25, if extensive footage of bare chested John Rambo with bow and arrow is not your cup of tea.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry 

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