Research and Writing...they go together like bees and honey. Without the research, the story is thin. If the facts are wrong, it can stop a reader in their tracks.
I'll admit it. I'm a research nut. My friends nicknamed me Imoooogene because I'm almost as quick as google! (Or so they tell me.) In fact, when a fact needs to be found... I'm pretty good at ferreting them out. I'm also a tech-geek, so those skills go together really well.
It's a joke in our circles that I live for the research. In fact it's become one of the features of my work. When I write it title, even if it's only a short 25k novella, I'm all about making sure my facts were right. I get really upset when I read something and **know** that the facts they are presenting are wrong.
To date, I've had the opportunities to work out "split s manoeuvres" for shuttles entering atmospheres, "Selective mutism in under 6 year olds" for a child who has watched both parents brutally murdered in front of her, through to the "atmospheric layers" and everything in-between. Does this strengthen my writing? I think so. It gives each action a reason for taking place and a realism readers demand.
My current research is delving into the landscape of India: social, political and geographic of 1878. And I'm having a ball. I've also been indulging in my serious fetish - looking at dresses and materials that would have been used by the English in 1878. From moire to lawn, bustles to headwear. Oh yes and even down to malaria and how it would have been dealt with by the doctors and physicians of the time.
I'm also a closet naval fanatic (well, not so closet now!) so I spent hours researching clippers versus cutters and finding deck-plans that would suit my needs, finally coming up with a workable layout for the Zephyr! I've been known to spend a whole day filling in the gaps for one or two paragraphs of writing.
It's my hope that Miss Elspeth's Desires will be finished before Christmas so I can begin on the sequel, Miss Isabelle's Craving.
Until then, I will continue to research my work thoroughly so my readers will continue to enjoy the stories I publish, safe in the knowledge that if it's in the story, then its been researched thoroughly.
Oh and don't forget to pop in and visit my latest party, the Not A Release Day Party on 9 September! http://www.facebook.com/events/1404732399743476/?fref=ts
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What will happen when the past catches up?
Galan is from Hesparia, where the females are dying out on his pacific agrarian planet.
Jessa has a past, one she hasn’t earned but cannot escape from.
What will happen when opportunity knocks?
Galan travels to earth, hoping to plead the case for Hesparia. He doesn’t expect Jessa or The Quickening.
Can he make the case for women to migrate to Hesparia and arrange a Diplomatic Alliance? Can they trust one another with their hearts. And can Jessa really escape her past?
The spaceship entered orbit and Jessa watched the tracking on the television. Since learning of the existence of extraterrestrials, it was about all she wanted to do. See where they were and where they planned to land.
The reporter came back on the screen. “We believe they will make their landing somewhere on the continent of Australia. There have been no further radio communications from the craft, however. So it is, at best, an educated guess right now.”
Jessa giggled at the sober face of the young, twenty-something reporter standing outside the Parkes Observatory and the inane follow up comment made by the thirtyish female news anchor.
“Jessa, it’s time for bed!” her mother yelled again.
She sighed dramatically. At twenty-four she was no longer a child, even though her parents seemed to struggle with that small fact.
Maybe it’s time to move out. As quickly as the thought had crossed her mind, she dismissed it. Leaving home meant more expense than she could possibly afford. The thing that really irked her was paying an outstanding legal bill for something she hadn’t even done. It was a refrain that had played through her mind over and over again since the event had taken place. It may have happened years ago, but she continued to pay for her youthful indiscretion. One she had long regretted.
Jessa stood, before heading down the old hallway to the bathroom. Living at home meant sharing a bathroom with her little brother, Ben. Of course, being a boy of sixteen, he was disgusting. There were used razor blades, splashes of water, foam from his recent shaving experience and hairs in the sink. Knowing it would make no difference complaining about it she carefully picked up the discarded detritus and placed it in the bin beside the vanity unit, wiped away the mess and began her own night-time ritual.
Emerging from the bathroom, she spied her mother, standing at the end of the hall in her fluffy blue dressing gown with matching slippers, and her blonde hair sitting high on her head in soft curlers. It was the same scene every night. “Night, Jessa.”
“Night, Mum.” What else was there to say? In a funk, Jessa entered her room, before closing the door then sat down on her single bed. She breathed deeply, letting the oxygen flow through her system, before slowly levering herself down across the mattress. Her blinds were open so she had an excellent view of the star-studded sky. It was a major positive to living on the edge of town, the absence of bright lights.
“Whoever you are, I certainly hope you’re friendly,” Jessa muttered, before closing her eyes, rolling onto her side and willing herself to sleep. For some reason, an excited thrill ran through her system.
Finally, visitors from the stars. No longer was it a figment of someone’s imagination or something from a science fiction novel. The time had come for them to have contact with another species. That was a sobering thought. The Prime Minister had sent a radio message to the ship. God, I hope the Prime Minister didn’t act like a pompous dick. Jessa snuggled down under the covers, waiting for the touch of sleep. Her mind wandered and she drowsed.
Her mobile, sitting on the bedside table buzzed and vibrated. Jessa muttered in the dark, groping for the device. She reached out and found the red leather covered item and dragged it to her ears.
“Jessa, it’s me. Seth. Can you come to the office at the telescope? I need you.” His voice was excited.
She squinted. “I was asleep, Seth. Besides which, I’m off duty until Saturday.” The room was gloomy and she screwed her face up into a scowl, knowing sleep would probably elude her now. “What could be so important that I need to come in right now?” Jessa pushed back the covers, swung her legs over the side then slipped her feet into her old grey slippers beside the bed.
“I can’t tell you over the phone.”
“What?” Something was happening. An agitated thrill filled her chest and for an instant her mind warred with the interest that spiked.
He didn’t need to plead. Jessa was already getting up to hunt out clothes. “Sure. Yeah, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
“Thanks. You really won’t regret it.” The delight in his voice was contagious.
Jessa hurriedly tapped the end call button.
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