My new novel entails a lot of research, something I actually love to do, as I hate reading a book and realizing the author has made a factual error!
My previous books, Genghis Khan, my Brother: The story of Temulin, and Van der Bijl required hours and hours of searching for information. I had background knowledge to some of the South African history, the flora, fauna and geography since I grew up there, but the novel about Genghis Khan required endless searches to provide the correct information. It is essential to get one’s facts straight, even if the characters are fictitious.
James Michener, the author of huge blockbuster novels such as Chesapeake, Hawaii, Centennial and his many other novels were meticulously researched by a team of people. His novels were incredibly informative as well as being entertaining, great reads. (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Michener for further information.)
My current book, as I have mentioned in my previous blog, is set in Russia and has turned up some fascinating facts which will make their way into the novel. I don’t want to spoil anything by telling you about them now, since my discovery will be an integral part of the story itself!
As for the protagonist, I have drawn upon my experience of working with special ed. students to create what I believe to be a believable, but flawed character. Life experience is a great source for characters, and quite frequently I have created an amalgam of several different people to create them. I would hate for anyone I know to think I am writing about him or her specifically, I could never do that, so rest assured, your quirks and idiosyncrasies won’t be laid bare for the world to see! I do however try and create believable characters, ones with whom we can identify, and when we are able to do that, it means that we can examine our mistakes through the eyes of a fictitious character and hopefully learn to correct them.
Well, m’dearies, adios for now, it’s back to the grindstone for me!