I guess I lost track of what day it was. Easy to do these days.
The blog is a bit late, but as I’m trying to keep my weekly ritual, I’ll give it a go today.
I’ve talked about character development, how I come up with a storyline, and have described what the next series is about: the Divine Feminine. In plotting what to write about today, I thought I might touch on the research I do for all my books.
My love of learning didn’t start with my writing obsession. It’s always been a driving force in whatever I was doing and that hasn’t changed. Whenever I’m sorting through my options for locations, careers, even styles of dress and music, I usually opt for a new topic that I can immerse myself in.
It’s the reason I write about different nationalities. Like Mateo in Clutch Hit. Giving him Cuban roots, I needed to dive into the history, understand their way of life, and get a sense of what kind of people lived there. I read everything I could about the Caribbean island, and watched documentaries wanting to know what it would have been like to live there before and after Fidel. In Thrown for a Curve, Izabella dos Santos hails from Brazil. I bought cookbooks to replicate some of the foods they eat there, scoured the map for a town she was born in, and created a family that had roots in the South American country.
In my new series, I’m including men from Serbia, Greece and Turkey, although with Gwen and Ioan’s army tour in Syria, I made it a point to investigate the White Helmets, why the army was there, and what would happen to their allies when they left. In Once There was a Tree, I also introduced the archeological piece that will come later in the series with Cerridwen and Zain. Greece is an ancient site for many mythological figures and places, with Heracles (Yes, it’s Heracles. He was named after Zeus’ wife Hera), Apollo, Athena, the Parthenon, and Delos among them. I thought it symbolic of the goddess theme I’d embraced. I learned a lot about Mykonos and as mentioned earlier, was surprised it had become the playground for the rich and wasn’t the quaint island I supposed. I’ve been eating a lot of Greek food these days, which has always been one of my favorites as far as flavor and spice.
On my research reading shelf, I have books on advocacy, forensics, medical examiners, archeology, life after suicide, judges, sacred circles, southern sayings, and how the numbers of unmarried women are on the rise. I read as I go, finding ways to bring my characters, their past and present, to life. It’s a learning curve every time and I walk away from each story with a better understanding of the people, places and things in, not only other cultures, but my own as well.