Welcome to my living room. It is apparently minus four degrees outside, but the central heating's bubbling away, the fire is glowing and I'd like nothing more than to sit around for the entire morning chatting with you all about various touchy sujects. I've made a huge pot of porridge oats and there's coffee and tea. Help yourselves.
The other day I overheard a conversation between someone who was dyslexic and a superior. The dyslexic person was nervous and agitated, having been told 'I don't bloody well care about your literary skills, just get it down on paper, spelling mistakes and all.' There were other things said, but for the purposes of this post I won't go into them. I could tell the dyslexic person was very upset and felt sorry for them.
Now, I'd really like to speak to this person. In my current novel, one of my secondary characters is dyslexic. But I can't just go up to them and ask them, can I?
It's the same with divorce, death, the loss of a baby, the loss of a child, living life in a wheelchair, deafness ... the list of touchy subjects is endless.
How do you get into the heads of your characters when they are dealing with a touchy subject? Do you just go ahead and ask someone you know (and risk offending them) or do you carry out your research in more subtle ways?