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What Do You Mean it Isn’t Tax Deductible? – Darby Rae

What Do You Mean it Isn’t Tax Deductible?

Last week I met with my accountant to go over my tax return and review the deductions she didn’t allow. There were several. I made a case for each one typically citing the expense category of ‘literary research.’ She laughed a lot, shook her head often, and once remarked, “I understand now why you are so good at writing fiction…you have a great imagination!”

So as an author, if I was trying to understand or feel the emotion of a character who was going on a shopping spree for a new wardrobe—as Annie did in Merciful Law—and I went on a shopping spree, that spree would not be tax deductible.  Seems unfair.  If during a relaxing massage I had a brainstorm for a great character or twist in the plot—that massage isn’t tax deductible.  Again, seems unfair.

I asked what if I wanted to write a novel set in Hawaii or Costa Rica and needed to go there to research the location?  She answered, “Bring me with you and I’ll be sure to keep track of all your receipts.”  Now that’s customer service!

Although the novel I am currently writing, Killer Coordinates, is set in Chicago, I’m strongly considering a tropical location for the next one.  Any suggestions?


  1. Thank you for all the emails on beautiful places to visit and write about. Not surprisingly they were all out of the country…some mentioned were: Costa Rica (I’ve wanted to go there for several years); Ireland (absolutely beautiful…and men with Irish accents…anybody see PS I Love You?); Venice, Italy (Friend of mine just returned from 18 days there! Her pictures are incredible.) and Uruguay (I’m told this country in South America has it all!) There was also a suggestion regarding ports in Mexico—via a cruise ship—that’s a setting I wouldn’t have thought of…cruise ship…I just might have to research that a few times. It would be difficult to get it all done in one trip.

    For the time being, I won’t be going anywhere tropical for research…but once the weather warms up I’m looking forward to heading to Chicago (Killer Coordinate’s location).

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