20 May 2012

Researching For Romance ~ A New Series

Welcome to Sunday's Check-In For ROW80.  Today I'm Introducing A New Weekly Post Series.





Traveling around the blogs, I've seen a few authors talk about their writing research.  I enjoyed it so much - I've decided to create my own version of this informative meme.  Researching For Romance will be a Sunday feature, and I hope to share random tidbits my own research has produced/produces during the writing process.  From historical clothing styles to Celtic myths, from Jewish and Muslim legends on the djinn to fighting styles within the world of mixed-martial-arts, I'll explore my finds.  Writing in multiple sub-genres within romance, my research takes me all over!  I hope you enjoy.  Please feel free to add your comments and share relevant web-sites helpful to the topics posted.  Gaining knowledge is always on my to-do list!



First up is something from my newest novel, The Third Fate, a paranormal romance.  Being a fan of all-things-Highlander-ish, I grabbed hold of Celtic legend and lore during the writing of The Third Fate, soaking up the myths with an eye toward creating a cohesive back story on the origins of the vampire.  Certainly, this research proved great fun.  Writing a paranormal romance was liberating, offering me great freedom to loose my imagination in new ways.  I loved it.



The Mabinogion, (pronounced Mabin-OGion) a collection of Welsh stories, first introduced me to Pywll.  His service to the god of the underworld, Arawn, inspired my tale of vampire creation within my novel.  Adding to my collection of tales, I discovered Mysterious Britain, another site perfect for perusing Celtic myths.



At first, I compiled a list of Celtic gods and goddesses, needing to sort through the plentiful deities.  Druid Circle filled my head with all manner of suggestions from their extensive collection.  I appreciated the description(s) of the god/goddesses realm, origin, and jurisdiction(s), which gave me enough back story in most cases to know if the god/goddess fit into my growing storyline. 



Most striking, for me, was understanding that wide variation existed between the beliefs of Celts, who were spread across vast territory.  Welsh, Irish, Briton, and Scottish legends vary greatly.  I had wrongfully assumed the Celtic religion to be one entity before my research.  My studies on religion had more centered around Jewish studies along with the ancient and contemporary religions of the Near East. By no means have I completed an exhaustive study!  So much is available; paranormal romance writers have nearly unlimited potential to craft fantastic stories from the wealth of myth and legend surrounding the Isles and their fascinating history. 



 ~ Nadja

23 comments:

  1. Oh, love any kind of mythology, Celtic included. I'll certainly like this new blog post series :)
    Have a great week!

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    1. I'm glad you like it. I've been thinking on it for a week or two. I think it will be a fun series.

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  2. I love doing research! Sometimes, I get so involved in what I'm researching that I forget what is was I was looking for! Have a great writing week!!!

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    1. Oh! I go on the rabbit trails, too. Lol. I love researching. I've learned so much because of some little question that prompts me to Google...Oh! My Lovely Google. Ha.

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  3. A great post! Research can be so interesting and fun, it's all part of the writing experience. Have a great writing week!

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    1. Thanks. It sure is fun. I hope the series adds to the discussion in some way, or helps an author discover a great site in their own research.

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  4. There is a site on cumbrian history and folklore (not celtish I grant you ) I will try and track it down for you -I will be back - as a Celt myself I appreciate your enthusiasim - have to confess I dont know a lot about them:(

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    1. I look forward to checking it out, Alberta!

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  5. Ooooooh, Nadja, I love this new blog series! I absolutely adore mythology, and it's fascinating to see some of the inspirations behind your newest WIP (which I can't wait to read, btw). Looking forward to hearing more!

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    1. Well, you were, in part, an inspiration for this new series here! Remember when you posted the history of the Asian gangs from California and the women's mug shots from your research? I so enjoyed reading! So...thanks:}

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  6. What a great idea for a series! I'm looking forward to learning more :)

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    1. I've been wanting to create at least one post series, but struggled to decide what I thought would be a sustainable topic. Finally...I've found one. Ha!

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  7. That's a great idea for a weekly blog post. :)

    The most research I've had to do was for the third Libby Fox novella, Search for the Vampires' Curse. It was set partly in the Amazon rain forest, so I researched the flora and fauna of that area. It was kind of fun. There was a nasty spider that was just the thing I needed for a scene in the book. LOL

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    1. Ha! You should have called my boys. They know all about creepy-crawlies. They have a shelf filled with books on insects, spiders, reptiles, river-monsters...etc. A wealth of knowledge ...or so they'd like to think!

      Plants would be a topic I'd have to research, too. I'm not so up on flora and fauna. The most I know about those words is that they were two of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty...lol. Flora, Fauna, and Merriwether...:}

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  8. Nadja -

    Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with all the wonderful research? Sometimes I don't know what to use and what to leave behind!

    Doesn't matter what type of book I'm writing--contemp, paranormal, mainstream--I always have to do research.

    Kelsey

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  9. back again the site for cumbrian folktale and history is http://esmeraldamac.wordpress.com/category/cumbrian-gods-goddesses/ hope it is of some interest:)

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  10. The research shows through in the writing. You've planted enough "tale" in the story to ensure the readers has a grasp on the backstory as they go along.

    Great research :-)

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    1. Your words bolster, Angela! Thanks. That was tricky to navigate - how much backstory to include. While I wanted to craft an interesting story of origins, I did not want to have that overshadow the main storyline. I was back and forth on a few things.

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  11. Ooh, it's been ages since I've read the Mabinogion. I love doing research. Reading a slew of books on Ottoman history at the moment. Can't wait to get back to Wales with the next book!

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    1. I just read a great book about the Crusades. All in preparation for another historical project I've got simmering in my head. Ha! I'll have to make a post about that research soon. :)

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  12. I'm looking forward to this series, Nadja.
    The research you did is incredible. Don't you get lost doing it? Sometimes the subject is so fascinating, I keep reading more and more and forget to write :)

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    1. Ha! Absolutely. I now have a stockpile of myth that will produce story ideas well into the next decade...
      Oh! The rabbit trails I explored. Hmm. ('Time waster,' Inner Critic frowns, purses her lips at me and taps her shoe.)

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