Welcome Amber Daulton, author of romantic suspense, paranormal, and historical romance novels, sharing her thoughts on research!
No matter what genre an author writes, he or she must first research their chosen time-period or world. I’m a romance author and I love to write in a variety of subgenres, and all of them require in-depth research.
In my opinion, there’s no big difference in writing a novel set in the 1700s than writing one set in the modern era. Authors should research all the locations mentioned in the book to learn about the buildings, the common modes of transportation, the style of speech and mannerisms appropriate for the time and place, and the types of characters they wish to describe.
Even modern books need research like this. For instance, it doesn’t make much sense for a typical hardworking New Yorker to drive a car. Instead, the stressed-out secretary heroine will probably be catching the subway, but the author needs to know what line she’ll have to take, when that bus will arrive in the business district, and how many blocks she has to walk to reach the office. Little details like that might seem like overkill, but you never know what you’ll need until you’re writing the scene. Besides, details always add more depth to the story, but you also need to find a healthy medium to not drown the story and your reader in them.
Research can also lead your novel in a direction you didn’t see or plan. You might realize you need to add new scenes and characters, or kill off a character. For historical novels, you need to check on the etymology of words. For example, you shouldn’t write the word “vampire” in a book set in the 1600s because the word wasn’t coined until the 1700s.
Also, details and facts shouldn’t just be dropped into the story without a good transition or reason. The information should be weaved into the description and dialogue without bogging down the scene. If necessary, spread the details out throughout various scenes and chapters. Don’t tell the reader everything at once. Let them stew over the details for a little while and then give them more later on.
Not every author can do hands-on research and travel all over the world to study locations and cultures. Most of them rely on books, the Internet, or the opinions of friends and colleagues who have traveled to those areas.
I always try to have my research done before I start writing, but sometimes that’s just not possible. When the WIP goes in a direction I didn’t expect, I have to power up the Internet or pull out my textbooks to double check answers and to look for something fresh to help the book’s new flow.
No matter how much research you do, it’s almost impossible to know everything about your chosen subject, but you should at least be able to write a convincing story. For me, research can be more fun than writing. It’s a constant reminder that things always change. Nothing is set in stone, and an author needs to be flexible when plotting and writing the book.
Contemporary/Time Travel Romance
Word Count: 30k
Heat Level: 3 Flames
Leonora Harris fled her newly wedded husband’s home in Georgian England, 1725, and took shelter in a cave during a rainstorm. She woke up in a cold, barren land and a handsome stranger with a mechanical carriage offered her shelter.
Undercover American operative Rodger Ramsey never expected to find a runaway bride in the magnificent Salar de Uyuni. Assigned to Bolivia to investigate Communist activities, he just wrapped up his two-year mission in 1963 and followed his heart to the salt flats one last time.
Sparks flew and attraction sizzled. The lost, stubborn woman kicked his protective instincts into overdrive. Rodger took her home with him, determined to help her before he returned to the States, and Leonora flourished under his guidance. Their hearts intertwined. He wanted her, needed her, but could he truly love a woman who believed she jumped two hundred years in time?
Will they find a way to stay together, despite the obstacles between them, or will Leonora survive in this strange new world alone?
(Author’s Note - This is a prequel to Timeless Honor, a time travel romance with Rodger and Leonora’s granddaughter, but can be read as a standalone.)
“I’ll do or say whatever you wish, illegal or not.” Leonora steeled her spine as the words tore up her throat. “I thought you trusted me. What can I do to earn it?”
Rodger ate up the distance between them with three long strides and shackled her wrist in his large hand like a manacle. She stumbled toward him. Tension permeated the air around him in waves of red-hot heat.
“Have you heard of the CIA, Leonora? The Central Intelligence Agency?”
“No, I have no idea what that is.”
“What can you tell me about the communist activities and alliances in this country?”
“Nothing. I don’t know. What kind of questions are these? What are you talking about?”
His head tilted to one side and his lips thinned. Rodger stared at her with a long, hard gaze even as she squirmed, the steel in her spine gone. Stress lined his face and the tendon in his neck throbbed against his skin like a tic. Minutes passed, or maybe just seconds, and air whizzed out through his nostrils. The anger in his face seemed to drain and he somehow looked older.
“How can this be? You told me the truth about everything.” He stepped back and stroked his fingers up her arm. “Though you squirmed under my gaze, you did so after you answered me and only because I intimidated you. You didn’t once respond with a typical facial or verbal nuance to indicate you lied. I feel the truth of your words in my gut and in my soul.”
“I haven’t once lied to you.”
“I just—I don’t understand. This is so unbelievable. I wish you could provide me with some kind of undeniable proof you’re from the past.”
“As do I, Rodger.”
Buy Timeless Beginnings
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Books2Read - https://books2read.com/u/meAAnE
See Timeless Beginnings on Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30638898-timeless-beginnings
Amber Daulton lives her life by that one belief even though she normally isn’t so Zen.
As a fan of contemporary, paranormal, and historical romance novels alike, she can’t get enough of feisty heroines and alpha heroes. Her mind is a wonderland of adventure, laughter, and awesome ways of kicking a guy when he’s down. She probably wouldn’t be too sane without her computer and notebooks. After all, what’s a girl to do when people are jabbering away in her head and it’s hard to shut them up? Write! Nothing else works.
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