Research: The Devil of Details
I will be the first to tell you that I hate research.
I mean why can’t I just make it up as I go, it is fiction, right?! That was my outlook when I sat down to right Destiny Finds Her three years ago. I did more visual research than anything by looking up pictures of Scotland, old castles, and even an old broken down stone keep. Old in Scotland doesn't men forgotten.
I wanted to get a feel for Scotland, the landscape, what a large keep looked like, and how it ran. That led to a little investigation on clothing, then transportation, and that led to the little things.
It’s the little things that make something real. How did they dress?. The way they speak, and move, and love? Those were the things I looked for, and when I found them, I wove them into my own visions.
Is it perfect? Nope, and if you are a history buff, I apologize in advance. In the world I built, it fits. I hope you can see it as clearly as I do. That’s the beauty of building a world; you make it someplace you want to go. To live, maybe. To meet Devlin, the highlander? Certainly.
Since writing the first book, my taste for research is refined. For book two and all projects going forward more historical research is on my menu, but this time, I’ll have a team. More eyes mean a wider vision, and in turn, that gives us a richer world for Jami to explore. I still won’t steep my stories in historical facts, because the fantasy is beyond what we know—but it’s well within the life that Jami leads, and her story is the focus. The beauty of Scotland speaks for itself, and I’ll let you decide how much of her life is here, and how much of it is somewhere or somewhen else.
That’s my research process. There are many authors out there who do tons of research before writing, historical and otherwise. Patricia Cornwell is one who immerses herself in research, even to the point of going to a “body farm” to see the different stages of body decomposition. Christine Feehan just got back from a trip to New Orleans where she researched the area, marshes, and bayou for a series she’s writing. Ann Charles visits Deadwood, South Dakota every year where one of her series is set and just moved to Arizona for another setting. That’s immersion, and if I have to go cavort with highlanders for the good of my story, I’ll do it.
But only because I’m dedicated.
To the story, of course. Now, about that ticket to Scotland. . . .
Destiny Finds Her
Genre: Romance/Time Travel
Number of pages:178
Cover Artist: Sister Sparrow Graphics
Jami – Content with her life working for a publishing house, enjoying her caffeine addiction and her daily banter with best friend Todd. Jami wasn’t one to believe in Destiny. When her world turns upside down just days before her 25th birthday, her beliefs are challenged and time is ripped away. Dozing off in the sun one moment and sitting in a field of heather with a talking hamster the next will rattle any normal girl. But hearing a sexy deep voice and turning to find the Highlander it belongs to will rock anyone’s world!
Devlin-. He loved the annual festival, all the hustle and bustle around the keep, what he couldn’t handle was his mother hounding him about finding that “one” to settle down with as the middle brother he still had plenty of time. He escaped daily to do his rounds along the land’s perimeter, but one day he found someone he wasn’t expecting. One look, one smell was all it took. He would find out who she was.
Faced with the obstacle of overcoming her fears and embracing her powers, Jami’s destiny is hers to take. Or is it?
Available at Amazon
As he ventured further along the tree line, the birds started chattering and became restless. The squirrels quickly climbed trees, hiding in their little holes. Devlin’s ears strained to hear what they were hearing. He stepped into the tree line, and faded into the shadows, awaiting what threat may come. His hand went to the hilt of his sword, muscles tensed, ready for a fight. What he saw next was completely unexpected.
A young woman treaded softly out of the trees, along one of the many paths the healers used to forage for herbs and fetch water from the brook; a woman Devlin had never seen. She was not garbed in the traditional broadcloth dress, but in pants and some type of jerkin. He’d never seen such clothing. Her hair was pulled away from her face and high atop her head, in a small circle with a tail flowing to her shoulders. Much like a horse’s tail. He stood silently, waiting to see what she’d do.
This woman was not from around here; that much was obvious. His muscles coiled, ready to pounce should she take off toward the keep. She simply sat down on the top of the hill, in the rays of the sun, and watched the children. She seemed to be in awe of what she saw in front of her.
Devlin wove silently through the trees to the path she’d emerged on. Advancing with years of learned stealth, he moved up behind her. When he was within a few steps, she still was unaware of his presence.
The breeze brought a whiff of her scent to him. A sweeter smell Devlin had never encountered. His body reacted immediately. His knees went weak as he breathed her in.
"Who are ye?" Devlin demanded, sounding a bit gruffer than planned.
She jumped, and was gone. Like a ghost into the night. He couldn't believe his eyes. Glancing down, he saw the slight indention from her footsteps. He followed them down the path until they abruptly ended at the brook. He searched the area for her campsite or any signs of where she’d come from. She was a mystery.
After minutes of searching, a sound wafted up to his ears. Tilting his head, he recognized the bells of the gypsy troupe that travelled through the lands. It was time for him to head to the keep and resume the duties of middle son.
About the Author:
Mother to two boys, 3 four legged babies, and wife to a loving husband who doesn't mind the extra voices in her head.
Miranda grew up on a dairy farm in Illinois, but calls Portland, TN home now. She is an avid reader, coffee addict, and loves her day job working at the local public library. Though her true passion is in creating her own worlds, characters, and stories for her readers.