Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reference Books

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I use Google a lot when I'm researching a story. Google Earth is awesome for seeing a place you haven't visited physically. Of course, it's also a great way to lose hours of your time. But sometimes nothing can replace a physical book.

I actually prefer to look up a paper dictionary and thesaurus rather than electronic copies. For a start, it means I get up to grab the book off the shelf. Moving around is so important in sedentary occupations like writing.

Currently, the top of the low bookcase near my desk holds a dictionary, thesaurus, book of quotations and a dictionary of rhyming terms (from when I thought I'd write poetry). It also has a book on alchemy and another on mythical creatures, plus Debra Dixon's "Goal, Motivation and Conflict", the classic writers' plotting guide.

Tucked away I have books on Oman (I set a djinni and angel story there -- amazing country!), on the Edwardian era, on architecture (a passion) and a history of a defunct local department store. You never know quite how a non-fiction read will prompt a fictional tale. For years I've had a story idea ... what happens when the lights suddenly go out in a giant department store?

A few months ago I read the history of the Black Sea and now I'm wishing there was double the time in my day. I'd love to write a contemporary paranormal series that spins off from the legendary Sarmatians of Polish history and folklore. My nana was Polish, but never told stories of aristocratic people. Our family was poor but honest (well, poor, at any rate). So I could make up Sarmatian tales and magic. I have such a cool idea, but no time! Maybe in 2017...

LOL There I go again, wishing away the year! Nooooo! So much to do still.

Dragon Knight has just released, and Doctor Wolf will be out April 27. 

I'm not able to do half as much non-fiction reading as I'd like at the moment. My publishing schedule this year is wildly ambitious. I fill in the gaps by reading the new book reviews in The Guardian Weekly. But one day ... 

If I was to write a fairytale it would begin: Once upon a time there was a woman who read and read and read while the house cleaned itself and no one in the family had dramas. Meals miraculously made themselves and tidied up afterwards. 

Okay, I'll stop dreaming now!

P.S. Demon Hunter is free today on Amazon. Grab a copy and tell your friends! It has some fab reviews, which makes me very happy.

1 comment:

  1. Just a postscript. I finished "The Silk Roads" by Peter Frankopan and it was awesome! Review at Goodreads, https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1564882295


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