Wednesday, 8 August 2012

The joys of research

The sequel to The Secrets of Life and Death will finish up the Kelley story. I've followed him into Venice, off to Bohemia and into trouble with Dee's wife. Research, like the Tudor manor reading I did for Vincent, the 1580s narrator in A Baby's Bones, just draws me in with potential stories. The commonsensical part of me says if I haven't been able to find a publisher for book 1, is it worth writing book 2? But the other part of me has to know what happens next. This is the most satisfying part of writing for me - telling myself the story.

If someone had asked me five years ago what I'd end up writing, I probably would have said crime. Four years ago, historical fiction, three years ago, women's fiction. I've tried them, but somehow, I'm back where I started, in love with the fantastical element of magic, or ghosts, or possession. And it does make the research so fascinating. For Elizabeth Bathory, for example, I joined a fan website which refers to her as 'Our Lady', which is strange but kind of endearing. They did glorify her, which is a bit harder to take, given that she certainly was responsible for the deaths of a number of children. Sometimes the truth is really weirder than fiction, and that's where good research takes you.

I've also found myself sketching a brief history, just to show a reader where the known facts, as much as they can be verified, end and the storytelling and imagination take over.


  1. Isn't writing a magical journey? You just don't know where it'll take you. Anne Gallagher just did a Guest Post on Regency Romance on the RomanticFridayWriters blog. It was great. So much particular research.


  2. I love researching - it does take up time I ought to be writing though! I had a look at Anne's post, I'm always impressed by the work people put in.