Research and its random path.
To me, research is perhaps the easiest part of the writing process. I never know where my story ideas will come from, but the research for them is a solid, tangible thing I can do even when the actual writing isn't progressively as quickly as I want it to. The idea for Elemental Magic was born out of a dream, one filled with magic, Celts, and foreign lands. That meant a lot research and knowing where I could take literary license.
Since I wasn't able to visit my story settings in person, I spent hours at the library pouring over books about Ireland, castles and ruins. I read everything I could get my hands on through the library and internet. I listened to Irish music. I'm not the best note taker but I am a fast reader and I soak up information like a sponge. I studied Haleyville's history and dozens of other things. Castle life, animal husbandry, lairds, English kings. Even if I didn't use some of the information, like an investigation one piece let to another and another until I could see the whole picture forming. Our librarian and her assistant were (are) extremely helpful. She didn't bat an eye when I asked for every book she had on druids, witchcraft and old wives tales. Now that was an interesting afternoon. And all this was just for Earth Enchanted and To Take Up the Sword.
Wait for the Wind's research was more about life experience rather than from a book. My husband's poor health has meant many hospital visits. I've spent a lot of time in waiting rooms, talking to doctors and observing hospital staff. I lived in a violent home as a child. I know the strange, unsettled tension of waiting for the other shoe to drop. I became a mother a month before my eighteenth birthday. I understood the exhaustion of school, babies and work all at once. All of these life experiences went into Kate's character.
With Sea's Sorceress and Fire's Ice, I could finally put to good use all those years working in restaurants and on DIY projects. I understood what Rhia's pub would need in order to function behind the scenes. I knew the quiet of the hours after closing, the madness of super busy shifts. In the book, Rhia's father is dying of cancer. Sadly, I watched my favorite uncle suffer and pass from the disease. I had once felt Rhia's frustration, helplessness and her need to honor her father's wishes, even if she didn't agree at times.
No matter what or where I'm writing, the research is always an adventure. Thanks for allowing me to visit with you today.
$10 Amazon or B&N gift card to be given away on 10/1 during the kickoff of 31 Days of Halloween
1 digital copy of series
3 digital copies of Earth Enchanted