Oh, my. Is it Tuesday already? How time flies when you pimping your book. Looks like it's time to respond to another set of probing questions on the art and craft of romance writing. Here are this week's slate:
What is the most unusual thing you’ve ever done in the name of research for a book?
Oh, dear. Blush. I hate to think what people would think if they ever saw the search history on my internet browser. I've searched everything from torture methods to tips for giving the perfect blow job. I research everything. Myths, spells, history, clans, spells, tarot cards, ferry schedules, when the sun rises and sets in a particular place, you name it. I also spend hours driving around Scotland and England on Google maps and read reviews of places my characters visit to get a sense of how people react to the settings. You can find some of the images that inspired each of my books on Pinterest (link is at the top of the page under the masthead).
Name a nonfiction book you’ve read for research that you wouldn’t have read otherwise. Not including writing craft books.
Can I name several? One's sitting beside my laptop right now: Highland Martial Culture: The Fighting Heritage of Scotland by Christopher Scott Thompson. Great little book that includes not only the weaponry, but also the cultural aspects of martial training in days of yore, including the spells and sians they used for protection. I also bought Highland Broadsword Fighting and Lords of War to further my study of the subject. For a half-finished book I'm hoping to pick up again, I bought several books: Sea Room by Adam Nicolson (about the Shiant Islands), The Pirate Queen by Barbara Sjoholm (Orkney folk tales) , Nature and The Human Soul by Bill Plotkin, and The Fish Prince and Other Stories (Mermen folk tales). My languishing WIP, as yet untitled, is about one of the legendary Blue Man of the Minch who gets involved with an oil company spokeswoman during a mysterious spill in the Hebrides. Lots of research went into the world-building, as you can see.
If you could travel anywhere to do research for a book, including back in time, where would you go?
Scotland. No question. Time period? I'll have to think about that one. Not 1745 to 1780, I can tell you that much.
Speaking of Scotland ... it's time to hop over to the blog of my good friend Kate Robbins, who writes fantastic Scottish historical romances. Take it away, Kate!