I know I’ve been quiet lately. At least blog quiet. I’ve taken a long break from the submission process for Cheater, but plan to start up again this month. And the most important thing is this: I have been writing. A lot. I’ve found a great rhythm and balance between working part time and writing part time, and have been happily delving into a YA novel I wrote as a 13 year old. It needs a lot of work – but the bones are good. It’s been fun (yet angst inducing) to return to the teenage world. Mostly fun. And I have to say, I love the voice I’ve found, and it is so easy, scarily easy, to slip into my inner teenager. This character is flowing over with potential, and I can see myself writing many, many stories with her. Changing my focus from searching for an agent back to craft has been rejuvenating. Just what I needed to do some revising on Cheater and jump back into the toil of the querying process!
Fantasy Writers Research, Too August 13, 2008
Yep – we may create our own worlds and our own rules, but that doesn’t exempt us from research.
Here is a list of some of the things I researched while writing my urban fantasy, CHEATER:
• Traditional and contemporary beliefs about death, the gods and angels of death, and the afterlife, including Celtic, Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Norse, Aztec, and Christian.
• Con artists and their “art”, famous cons and schemes, famous con artists
• The Grim Reaper – folklore, history, and portrayal in literature and film
• Death and mortality rates
• Traditionally held beliefs about Limbo
• All sorts of cool techy stuff like hacking into computers, tiny digital cameras, internet scams…
• Slot machines
• Las Vegas and Death Valley – that was a fun trip!
• The Lake Havasu region
• Several locales around sweet home San Diego
• Casinos, their rules, their layout
• The Etch A Sketch
• My jobs, that have offered wonderful insight to the inner workings of a bureaucracy (including a nice collection of memos that served as inspiration…)
• Charles Babbage, his Difference Engine, and his Analytical Engine
While 95% of what I learned didn’t make it into the book (sometimes 10 hours of research becomes 1 line of text), most of these things play a role. Are you intrigued yet?