I’ve never had research come in handy like this before.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

When you’re a science fiction author, you spend a lot of time with your head in the clouds. While other authors are researching down-to-earth events and happenings, we’re wondering just how long it takes to get to some unknown star across the galaxy if we’re running one’s warp-engine jets at three times light speed, or what an advanced alien society might look like if its planet developed off silicon instead…

Read More >>

Researching Mundanity: The Details in Contemporary Fiction

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I wrote my first novel about a world I’d been living in forever: the large public school. As a teacher for nearly 20 years, I was intimately familiar with the settings, the procedures, the schedules, the conflicts, and the characters that typically populate an illustrious institution of learning.  In fact, at one stage in my revision, I was asked to make things less realistic. “What’s with all the armpits and…

Read More >>

How To Love Researching Your Novel

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Most of the time—to my surprise—I look forward to writing my weekly post for The Debutante Ball. This week, however, I dreaded it. This was for two reasons: first, last week’s post on the differences between the expectations and realities of publishing a novel completely drained me; and second, on today’s topic, I got nothing. Well, almost nothing. We are supposed to be writing about research: how much we did,…

Read More >>

Finding the Details that Fill a World

Monday, July 23, 2018

I. Love. Research. I mean, if you’ve read From Unseen Fire, you could probably guess that. As much as I’m a writer, I’m also a historian. It was my second major in undergrad, and my Master’s degree certainly relies heavily upon it as well. I live with my head as much in the past as the present, and while it’s not always the Roman past, for the past seven years,…

Read More >>

The First Writing Rule I Broke: Write What You Know

Friday, April 18, 2014

Raise your hands if one of the first writing rules you learned was “write what you know.” I know many of us write about what is near and dear to our hearts, but what kind of novels would we have if we only wrote what we knew? For me, writing what I know would be the stroke of death for my storytelling. I’ve always been a wanderer at heart–I need…

Read More >>