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)
MUCH ADO ABOUT RESEARCH by Nancy Lee Badger
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 http://bit.ly/GHcofk
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: http://bit.ly/qyKTtH
All Romance EBooks: http://bit.ly/JNyYRP
MY HONORABLE HIGHLANDER Book Blurb
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
Find out more about Nancy Lee Badger here:
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!