Meljean Brook is joining us today!
And she brought a prize to give away. One lucky commenter is going to win an ARC of Demon Night. Details on how to win down below… but make sure you read the contest disclaimer here on the blog. Remember, we want to keep it fair for all.
And onto Meljean’s guestblog…
Thank you so much to Shiloh and the rest of the Vamps & Scamps crew for inviting me to talk with you all today! It’s been one of those crazy months, with my little girl coming down with one cold, fever, and earache after another, and needing Mommy to snuggle with her. Which means that most of my writing is getting done late at night (and not much sleeping!) because I can’t manage a laptop and a little girl at the same time. But the upside is that I can read most of my research sources while she’s cuddling with me, and sneak in a category romance now and then.
There’s been some discussion of research and romances around the web lately, but this isn’t meant to bring up that debate. What struck me while I was stuck on the sofa (aside from realizing how easy kids pick up bugs from one another, and at one point: “oh my God, it’s December?!”) was how much I’ve actually picked up because of romances.
One of those categories I re-read was an early-80s Harlequin Presents. I’m not sure if anyone else remembers these, but the Presents line used to have an “Extra” at the end, which was usually a page-long note about something within the story: an item of history, a bit of trivia regarding the setting (usually an exotic one), a quick biography of an historical figure or artist.
I loved those Extras, and many times they sent me to the library, to look up and research more about the topic.
Now, it’s easier to hop online and look up something that catches my interest while I’m reading–it might only be a passing mention of a minor historical event, but chances are that if I don’t have any idea about it, I’ll go look it up when I’ve finished the book.
Over the years, I’ve picked up a lot this way–researching some items deeper than others. And when I’m writing, the same things crop up. For DEMON ANGEL, looking through the history of Rome, I ran across the fate of Dionysus I of Syracuse, who–after some poetry he’d written won an award–engaged in a “debauch that proved fatal” (from Wikipedia).
Now, that wasn’t something that ever showed up in the novel, but just the fun kind of information that I run across and file away for everyday conversations. For DEMON NIGHT, a throwaway description in the prologue like “He’d seen rolls of barbed wire less tightly wound” requires checking that in 1886, barbed wire had a) been invented and b) came in rolls — but it was also something that I was already pretty sure of before I wrote it (thanks to plenty of westerns and western historical romances).
So I’m wondering: what have you learned from romances, and have you been driven to find out them in more depth? Do you have a favorite bit of trivia, something that you’ve used at party conversation, or have you run across anything that surprised you?
And if you’re a writer, do you have any fun items from your research to share that might never have made it into your novels?
Everyone who comments has a chance to win an ARC of my February release, DEMON NIGHT. It’s the third single-title in my Guardians series, and it features Drifter, an outlaw from the Old West turned Guardian–and Charlie, who has been through her own personal hell, worked her way back, and is completely unprepared for the vampires who are determined to transform her.
~From Meljean Brook
It’s me (shiloh) again. All you have to do is join in the discussion below. From those who join in, I’ll draw one name to win the ARC.
Remember, I draw by the IP addy and every IP gets tossed into the hat one time.
Discuss as much as you like, wander off topic…and make sure you admire the cover. It’s a good one.