MuseTracks guest – Nancy Lee Badger – Much Ado About Reserach

We’ve another special guest here at MuseTracks.  Historical and Contemporary Romance author Nancy Lee Badger gives us a look into weaving research and folklore into writing.

Pull up a toadstool, will ya, and have a listen. Oh, and if you leave a comment, you could win an e-copy of one of Nancy’s books. (read below)


When a writer sits down to write a historical romance or, in my case a romance that includes time travel, research rears its ugly head. Research can be tedious, or it can be fun. When you feel strongly about a story plot, but lack the knowledge to enrich your plot, location, or characters then research is your friend.

Myths, often considered an aspect of folklore, was something I wanted to add to my story, MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER. Since I had used the folklore surrounding the Loch Ness monster in another book, DRAGON IN THE MIST, I found myself returning to the many volumes of books in my home office. The internet is also helpful, as are friends. I belong to many writers groups and asking for help came easy.

My belief in the supernatural makes writing easy. In my latest Scottish time travel series, I included light-hearted and not-very-dedicated witches; a revenge-filled ancient sorcerer; war-loving Highlanders, castles, battles, kidnappings…I could go on, but I would rather you read the book. LOL!

A writer can use folklore and folk tales to explain mysterious events. Once Christianity became widespread, mythological creatures, such as the “Fairies”, faded away, but make great characters. Scotland has a rich Celtic History going back over 2,000 years, at a time when superstition was rife and where unusual events were ‘explained’ by legends and whimsical stories. It is therefore not surprising that Scotland has an extensive heritage of myths and folklore.

Many objects, including castles, have accumulated their share of myths and legends. I researched castles of the area (specifically Wick, on the eastern cliffs overlooking the North Sea) to create the fictional keep of the Keith clan: Castle Ruadh. Yes, I even researched the Scottish dialect to find out the Gaelic word for ‘RED’. The cliffs in Wick are comprised of red sandstone. Hence, the name Ruadh.

Legends grow from real events as well, and the lines are blurred between real and myth. A recent article making the rounds reports that a Scottish fisherman just took a photo of the Loch Ness Monster. Even Girl Scout troops around the world call their youngest recruits ‘Brownies’ after helpful creatures that do good deeds.

My research has taught me that myths and folk tales live on because people need to believe in them. Weaving in a tale or two into my stories was possible due to research. Have at it!

Here is some information about my two books, mentioned above:

DRAGON IN THE MIST is a 2012 Readers Choice Award Winner


Life without love is not worth living.

Nessía of the Loch has lived beneath the murky water of Loch Ness since ancient times. The pain of loneliness manifests in anger so strong, the entire valley shakes with earthquakes. In 1816, a Faerie queen pleads for her to cease the tremors and rewards Nessía with a human form. To stay human, she must find love. When the man she believes she loves casts her aside, Nessía responds to the betrayal by cursing the men of the MacDonald clan with the inability to keep a woman’s love. Only an act of true selflessness will break the curse.

After centuries pass, Nessía again searches for love. When Rory Hawthorn, an American scientist, arrives under the pretext of researching the earthquakes but in reality to research his MacDonald heritage and the curse, she believes she has found the perfect mate.

Amid stolen kisses, another earthquake, a steamy night of passion, and a broken heart, Nessía returns to the murky depths of the loch. When Rory dives in to follow her, he meets the green, scaly Loch Ness Monster. Assuming Nessía is in danger, he is intent on killing the monster and saving the woman he loves.

Genre: Contemporary Scottish Paranormal

Barnes & Noble:

All Romance EBooks


Bumbling present day herbalist, Haven MacKay, gets more than she bargains for when her love spell goes awry, is cast back in time, and meets her true love — Laird Kirkwall Gunn.

Kirk’s plans go slightly off course when he falls in love with a woman wandering through the Scottish Highlands. After all, he has pledged to marry another, from an enemy clan, in order to end a century-old feud.

Book #1 of the Highland Games Through Time Series

Genre:  Scottish Time Travel

Ebook at Amazon: and Barnes & Noble

Print book at Amazon  and Barnes & Noble

Find out more about Nancy Lee Badger here:



Twitter @NLBadger


CONTEST: Leave a comment and one winner will be chosen to win an e-copy of their choice of DRAGON IN THE MIST or MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER!

Winner of DRAGON IN THE MIST is Victoria! Congrats!

18 Responses to MuseTracks guest – Nancy Lee Badger – Much Ado About Reserach

  1. At our last writers group, we talked about research and about how many aspects of the story it can affect. I’m about to work on a book set around 1900 and the US Census has given me a wealth of information.

    I’m also going to check out those books. Who can resist kilts, fairies and Scotland? Not me! Great post.


  2. jbrayweber says:

    Not many people know you can do loads of research with a census. Things amazing information gleaned, the answers that lead to more questions, the realization of how life really was different but the same in the past…I’d say you are well on your way to some great research material, Melanie. 🙂


  3. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me in contest. Sounds good.


  4. jbrayweber says:

    YAY! Consider yourself entered, Victoria!


  5. I love research! I almost love it too much because I get lost in the stories.
    My second book takes place in Costa Rica and has a fair bit of pirate history and lore woven into a treasure hunt. So far I’ve had the pleasure of researching pirates, earthquakes, salvaging, drug cartels and portable nuclear weapons. I’ve had so much fun, I can hardly get to the part where I have to put it all together into a book!
    Thanks for a terrific article and I hope to read your books soon- love Celtic men and myths!!!


  6. jbrayweber says:

    Love the combination of all these interesting items you’ve researched for just ONE book. Man…that’s gonna be amazing, Stacey!


  7. I LOVE reading about pirates, so good luck with the story, Stacey. Yes, I research lots of stuff and only use a fraction BUT nothing goes to waste. I have a binder as I start each book and fill it with neat tidbits for the next book as well as links to check out.


  8. jbrayweber says:

    A binder! What a great idea!!! I have a file folder FULL of all my pirate stuff. I also have a file folder packed with research from various other parts of history…Civil War, Greco Roman, Early America, druids, dark ages, etc…

    Thanks so much for being here, Nancy!


  9. Yvonne B. says:

    I’ve got books, binders, notebooks, (hard drive) folders – all categorized by different things.

    Whether it’s characters (one binder – each has separate sheet that includes background, history, who I picture looking like the character and, when appropriate, lyrics that suit the character (in TMI category – I have one character that Blutengel’s “Soultaker” fits like a second skin)), worlds (another binder), scraps of info for future/past use (notebook), lyrics (2 notebooks) – everything has its niche.

    Then there are the books – different myths and legends, medieval history, more contemporary history, American Civil War, general history, American West and I can go on and on and on…. *blushes* All of it has either been used in some way or will be used in some way sooner or later.

    Wonderful post and please consider me for the giveaway.


  10. jbrayweber says:

    Holy Cow! Can I come over and look through your library and binders? I can’t imagine all the interesting stuff you must have, Yvonne. 🙂


  11. Yvonne B. says:

    Anytime 🙂 I don’t know how interesting it would be to anyone else, but I don’t mind sharing.


  12. I never thought to use the census. Thanks for the info, Nancy.


  13. jbrayweber says:

    It’s an unusual idea, to be sure, Marian. But while walking through the documents, you can’t help but wonder what ‘their’ stories were. Thanks for popping in!


  14. Gerri Bowen says:

    I love research too, Nancy, and sometimes get more interested in the research than the writing. A lovely blog post. 🙂


  15. jbrayweber says:

    I know, Gerri. Research can be so absorbing and fun! Thanks for coming by.


  16. Yvonne B. says:

    A couple of other places that can be interesting to look through are and (I’m pretty sure that’s the Ellis extension) – my family has mostly used that for family history research, but, when looking at the records (especially ship’s records) as a writer (or maybe it’s just the hyper-active imagination) I can’t help wondering about some of the other stories as well.


  17. Mickey says:

    Your post has so many wonderful ideas for researching the background of a novel. Great ideas and I know your books will be wonderful.


  18. Charlene says:

    I always appreciate the research that writers include in their books. I have learned so much! I would love to have a chance to read your books.


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