Monday, October 3, 2011

Researching a book

I’m a research junkie. Pride myself on researching each book I write, CAREFULLY, and so far I’ve had no objections from fans or reviewers. Cross my fingers on that one. What’s more, I thoroughly enjoy researching. I did more research before writing For Love is New than any of my other books. It’s a straight historical and I usually write paranormal romance. Although I don’t start any book until I’ve researched the time period. Sometimes I jot down a few lines to suggest the opening scene but no serious writing until I get anchored in the mood of the period. Clothing, current events, etc. Since For Love is New is an historical romance, the era it’s written in influences every scene and action. The year is 1815, and the book is all about the gorgeous heroine and handsome hero trying to foil the wicked villain. And boy, is he wicked. He’s not only trying to help Napoleon escape from Elba, he’s sadistic. You’ll purely hate him. Every nuance of the book had to be accurate. I found myself completely fascinated by the complex character of Napoleon, in fact I’m just reading a book stating that Napoleon’s hemorrhoids were responsible for the disastrous delay of the final battle of Waterloo. According to this account pain kept him from mounting his horse and so he spent hours reviewing his troops on foot in hopes he’d feel better. This gave Wellington badly needed time to join forces with his allies and possibly allowed him to win the battle. It’s recorded Napoleon fled the scene in a carriage, not on his horse. Interesting to speculate, isn’t it, and an example of what fascinating stuff you can find when you start digging. Another interesting thing about Napoleon is how differently he’s viewed. I have a French friend who thinks he’s the greatest hero France ever produced, so I tred carefully around her. My Druid and Mage books all required extensive research into mythology and history and the powers these fantastic people were alleged to possess. My characters in the Mage books are direct descendants of Merlin and Lady of the Lake and inherit their powers. In the first series the Druids are descendants of a Druid priestess, in the Mage series from Merlin. I’m just starting a new series with a mouth-watering hero who’s inherited Elfish abilities. I’m gonna have fun with those peaked Elfish ears. But I LOVE reading and writing historicals. I’ve definitely got one or two churning in my mind right now. Can you get too much sex in a historical? They’re generally milder, but should they be? Would love to know what you think….


Tina Donahue said...

Great blog, Jean - as long as the sex in a historical enriches the characterizations and plot, then no - there can't be too much of it. If it's just tacked on because 'sex sells' - well, then you have a problem.

Ever read Rosemary Rogers? She had LOTS of sex in her historicals.

jean hart stewart said...

thanks,Tina...I'm just back from vacation and catching up.. Yes, I love Rosemary Rogers...my paranormals have lots of sex and are getting sexier...