Haven’t we all heard that time and again? Yet, if J K Rowling had stuck to what she’d known, there’d be no Harry Potter. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy wouldn’t exist if Douglas Adams hadn’t fashioned the wonderful world building he’d needed to make his creation exist.
So, within our parameters we often write what we know, but then we push the boundaries, invent worlds that we alone create out of our vast imaginations.
Beyond that, there are times when good old fashioned research gives us the knowledge we need to build our worlds. Worlds which are based in reality, even though they are fantasy.
Such is the case at the moment for me. My current work in progress is a story of witches and enchantment. So who better to invite to lunch for the sole purpose of (well, okay good food, great company) finding out a little about the intricacies of tarot cards, but the fabulous Ms Daisy Banks.
I even managed to wrangle a little card reading for myself from the talented Ms Banks.
But seriously, my research is far from complete. This was merely a taste of what I require to inject my story with the reality it needs to make it convincing and Daisy has offered to check the final version for accuracy.
One of the major considerations I have to every book is the research behind the story. This can take far longer than ever the manuscript does to write, but the effort of learning something new has always been a major influence in my life. I never stop learning.
With my latest release, Banshee Seduction, Montgomery’s Sin Book 1, my research was based not predominantly on Banshees as you may possibly imagine, but on Football. Me being British, I call it American Football.
With little knowledge about the subject, as with tarot cards, the best place to start is by meeting someone who knows what they’re talking about. Jon Kirtland was the man in this case, a sports agent with vast knowledge. Not forgetting the fabulous Wild About Bones who also had a major input into the working knowledge of the actual “play”.
So, write what you know and if you don’t know it research it, or make it up…
He crouched, rested the heels of his hands solidly on his knees as he narrowed his eyes and listened to the quarterback. He shuffled in closer, nodded his understanding, and then took up his position.
Within a split second, the thunder of bodies racing toward him resonated up through the ground, making the soles of his feet tingle and his heartbeat kick up a notch. Adrenaline raced as he rushed to greet them.
Knowing he shouldn’t, he couldn’t resist casting a glance into the stands on his right to catch the shimmer of white light glowing from the top of the banshee’s hair. No mistaking her. He allowed himself a secret smile as he imagined all those soft curves in his arms—hopefully naked next time.
With a jolt of awareness, he brought his attention back to the field. Just nine seconds left on the clock, enough time for two more plays before the half was over. A long pass down the left sideline was hauled in by the wide receiver, deftly dragging both toes on the turf before his momentum carried him out of bounds. A thirty-four-yard gain and the clock stopped at four seconds.
The Chameleons were deep in the red zone on the Pirates’ eight-yard line. The final play of the first half, and if they got through, they were going into halftime in the lead.
Sweat trickled down his neck, and he rolled his head in an attempt to stop the irritating itch. He squinted to his left as they set up the play in the zone and knew the Boston corner was going to make a play for Wolf. Matt rolled his weight onto his toes. Every instinct screamed at him that the Pirates’ corner, diagonal to his line of sight, had positioned himself to take the ball. If he did, the little bastard was faster than a cougar and wilier than a hyena.
Distracted, Matt glanced above the head of the wide receiver once more to where Ginny stood, fingers pressed against her lips. A mellow warmth stole through his chest and cost him his concentration.
The rumble of bodies approaching filled his head, and he automatically kicked back into the game. Adrenaline pumped up, he tucked his body in to rush forward, ready to demolish the corner who, true to form, was running hell for leather straight at Wolf. Stupid kid. Didn’t he know he was just about to be ground under the weight of The Dane?
The dragon roared “Kill,” and Matt flung himself headlong at the other guy, his arms outstretched to crush him. Too late, his vision filled with a full frontal attack from the Pirates’ defensive end. At the same time, their linebacker slid in from his left and took his legs from under him, sending his world into a black void.
He blinked. The flaccid naked belly of the Pirates’ defensive end—way past his sell-by date—pressed heavily through the grid of Matt’s helmet as the guy lay sideways across his head. Matt blinked again. Suffocation wasn’t going to be a problem as his breath had stopped when his body had been pulverized under the combined weight of both the defensive end and the linebacker. Much to his disgust, he’d missed the corner altogether. From the roar of the crowd, the fucker had managed to sack Wolf. Either that, or Matt’s brain was bleeding out through his ears.
The body above him squirmed, letting more light into his vision, only to have it assaulted by the guy’s ugly, stretched belly button surrounded by thick black hair that almost poked him in the eye before the bastard rolled off him. Relieved of the weight of the two men, Matt waited.
I’ll breathe in just a second—there’s no rush.
He stared up at the clear blue sky. It reminded him of Ginny’s beautiful clear blue eyes. A vacuous, floating sensation surrounded him.
Another minute and I’ll breathe.
Dark storm clouds rolled in thick and fast.
“You okay, son?”
The grizzly voice of his coach made it past the hissing sound filling his head, and he tried to nod. Black mists swarmed heavier, engulfing his vision. He closed his eyes and welcomed the dark silence.