First, today is the penultimate day (don’t you love that word?) in my blog tour to celebrate the paperback release of ELYSIAN FIELDS, and I’m going all geeky with the fabulous Steph at Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust. I’m talking about those bad, bad boys we love and we love to hate (ahem, Jean? Rand? You guys listening?). Last chance to enter for the tour giveaways, and I’m also hosting a special giveaway just for today’s post, so head on over!
Today, please join me in welcoming author Tameri Etherton to Preternatura. Tameri is putting the finishing touches on The Stones of Kaldaar. The Stones of Kaldaar will be published in August and will be the first book in Tameri’s Song of the Swords fantasy series.
Tameri Etherton writes stories about kickass heroines and the rogues who steal their hearts. While not writing, or researching for her latest book, she can be found in tea shops laughing with friends, reading books, or at home curled up on the couch watching movies with her family. She lives in a quaint little seaside village, and enjoys long walks on the beach with her own prince charming. You can learn more about Tameri by visiting her website, on Facebook and by following her on Twitter.
And now, let’s hear from Tameri…
Research for Writing
Thank you so much Suzanne for having me on your blog today! In a bizarre twist of coincidence, I just spent ten days in New Orleans doing research. I was tickled to see your books in the Garden District bookstore. I might’ve even squealed a little and said, ‘I’ve met her!’. We all have our fangirl moments, don’t we?
[Woo-hoo for Garden District Books! I had my Royal Street launch party there!]
So, about New Orleans… I admit, I’m a research junkie. Give me Google, or a musty basement full of old books and I’m in heaven. I can spend hours chasing leads down random rabbit holes and come away with a brilliant gem to use in a book. And if research involves travel, I’ll have my bags packed within the hour!
That’s not quite what happened for a recent trip I took, but it was close. A friend wanted to go to Baton Rouge and New Orleans to research a book she’s writing. With more than a little nudging from me, and six months of planning, we did it. We took off for lands unknown. My friend has been to New Orleans, but I haven’t. I’m a Southern California girl through and through, and that humidity almost killed me.
So did a ghost, but that’s a tale for another day.
Speaking of supernatural entities, we stayed two nights in a haunted plantation. Was it fun? Maybe. Was it an adventure? Heck yes. Did I get loads of information for future books? Double heck yes! Will I ever stay there again? Not on your life.
I will, however, gladly return to Madewood House Plantation. There might’ve been spectral visitors, but they left me alone. Even when we went to the graveyard late at night, the worst thing to happen was getting bit by every mosquito in a two mile radius. The picture is of the back of the mansion and I chose it because it’s creepy and cool at the same time. Which is how I would describe most of the places we stayed.
But here’s the thing ~ pictures only tell part of the story. What you don’t get from a picture are the smells and sounds of a place. You can’t touch a wall or wooden floor and feel two hundred year’s worth of life in the cracks and warps. These are the things I flew all the way to Louisiana to experience. Just to make my writing more authentic.
Without having the experience of walking down Royal Street in New Orleans and smelling the rotting trash, or the acrid yet sour stench of too many young people who can’t hold their liquor, I might’ve missed that important element when writing about a city street, whether it’s in a fantasy or contemporary novel.
Why does it matter? Because the reader deserves better. Sure, I can describe a street, but without teasing all of your senses, you’re left wanting and I never want to leave a reader unsatisfied.
Of course, this begs the question, how much is too much? I guess that depends on the story. Finding the right balance of description is the task of every writer. And sometimes the bane of our existence.
So tell me, how much do you feel is too much? Do you enjoy reading descriptions, or are you more of a ‘get to the action!’ kind of reader? In fantasy or paranormal, how much research do you think a writer should do? Is it even something you consider?
I’d really love to know.
Thank you for coming on this little journey with me! I hope our paths cross again soon.
Thanks, Tameri! The aroma of beer, upchuck, and wet concrete is an, uh….unique experience of early mornings in the French Quarter, especially on the weekend. And believe me, you haven’t felt humidity until you’ve visited in August. OMG. But I hope you enjoyed visiting my adopted hometown. I will be looking forward to the cover reveal for The Stones of Kaldaar!
If you would like to be entered for your chance to win a two-book mystery book giveaway from the stash I brought back from the RT Booklovers Convention leave a comment on how much description you like in your favorite reads. I brought back a TON of books, and this will be the first of several RT giveaways in the next week or two!