Welcome back to the Insecure Writer's Support Group, which has a monthly blog hop on everything related to writing. This month we are talking about the coolest or strangest research you've ever had to do for a book. Visit the other bloggers, and see how they answered the question or just what they have to say about this crazy journey we call writing.
My favorite place to dive in and get lost for a good long time is mythology. It is the source of our personal and societal narratives, a source of morality (by example or warning), and provides an interesting way to compare cultures and history. In my paranormal series, Shifting Alliances, mythology was a source of the social world I created. In book 1, Shifter Trials, the whole story is shifter version of the Atalanta myth.
But where I had the real fun was with my newly released Unnatural Allies, in which the fairy folk or the fae are an emerging threat to the shifters. Looking into the celtic (Irish, Scottish) and other myths surrounding these folk was good fun, although not easy. You have pick up a piece here and piece there. You have make choices. In one version the fae are organized into the Seelie (light) and Unseelie (courts). In others, there are sub-divisions by season (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn courts), each with its own rules and characteristics. Of course, there are the wildlings, the independent, feral individuals who don't want to attach to a realm with rulers and rules.
The coolest thing about the research only available in strands and insights and hints, is that writers can weave his/her own story using those threads. Also, as part of the fun, I had an artist, the awesome MistyBeee, design a map. What fantasy world doesn't have a great map?
You can see the Fae Courts. For my characters I went with a wildling fae, a winter fae, a fairy and the rest you'll have to see for your self.
Here is the Unnatural Allies Blurb. The book just released this week.
A World in Transition
Violent fae encroachment on shifter land is heating up. With death tolls rising, the impossible becomes necessary – an alliance among predator and prey shifters.
An Inconceivable Love
Nicca Baron, lone wolf and wolf clan beta, finds herself under the command of Evan Grant, the rat alpha. In different circumstances, he’d be dinner. Or so her wolf keeps reminding her. Evan proves to be a perceptive leader, a skilled fighter and irresistible to her lonely heart.
To rule the rats, you have to rule the pack. Evan is a whiz at managing people and groups. Until he finds himself leading a mission made up of every single large animal that thrives on rat flesh. And not the kind between his legs. The only bright light is Nicca. Her storm gray eyes miss nothing, her brilliant mind comprehends everything and her succulent curves offer the perfect place for a rat to nestle.
An Impossible Future
In each other’s arms, Nicca and Evan discover love and a new perspective in an off-kilter world. But a wolf cannot mate with a rat, no matter the strength of the human attraction.