When I look back at the twenty-three novels and novellas I’ve written, I see I’ve done a variety of research.
First-hand research is always fun. Take the trips to Professional Bull Rider events that translated into scenes in Kentucky Cowboy, Brody, and Mercer. Oh, and last summer’s after-the-fact trip to a Montana dude ranch has given me more inspiration for upcoming books.
Kentucky Blue Bloods took me on a trip to horse country in the Bluegrass where I fed peppermints to the 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.
For my two novellas set in Christmas 1968 and Christmas 1969, I used the Internet to refresh my memory about that time. Bottom line, although I remembered those years as a high school student, I’d forgotten how hard they were. We think we have it tough today. It’s always been that way, I think.
And of course, for books like Kentucky Flame, I do research every week when I take my riding lesson and get a horse fix riding an American Saddlebred.
My Lord Raven has certainly been my most researched book. It took me many years of research into the medieval time period. I put the manuscript away (five chapters) but eventually took it out and finished it. Currently, I’m researching a sequel that I call Raven’s Vow.
So, what books do I currently have in my research pile? Here are a few, and you can see they are varied:
- Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to 1535
- The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior
- Mountain Spirit: The Sheep Eater Indians of Yellowstone
Even contemporary romance requires a little research. It’s part of the process.