Thanks so much, Greta, for having me again! I love the title of your blog, “I Do Not Want to Wait, I Want the Book Now!”
I’m like that, too, enjoying reading an author’s voice, the way she puts words together, the worlds she creates, the way her characters interact, the way she draws me in with conflict and adventure and romance. And once that happens, I do not want to wait! I want the next book now!
So Greta wanted to know what kind of research I do for my books. You might be surprised! Not only do I read a lot of books about wolves and their behaviors, pack dynamics, individual wolf nuances, but I also research the vegetation in the area, the temperatures for the time of year it is, the topographical maps to learn elevations and where streams, rivers and lakes are. I research websites that talk about particular aspects of the areas I’m writing about, even though I’ve lived in these places, or was a frequent visitor. Why? I don’t remember everything about them, so I need a refresher course.
Take for instance, I was researching Maine for LEGEND OF THE WHITE WOLF to see if cell phone reception was available in parts of the area I didn’t want to have cell phone reception. Yep, just what I suspected. You go into the woods, leave your Internet cravings behind. No cell phones, no Internet. Perfect for my story.
When I began working on SEDUCED BY THE WOLF, I envisioned spring and warmer temperatures. This was purposefully set in spring because of the rebirth of flowers and trees, and wild creatures having their offspring. Here in Texas, spring is warm. But in Oregon, I forgot how nippy the weather could be. Some of the lakeside areas I thought to set the opening in were still covered in snow! One of the areas was not, although it was still not open until later, around the month of May. So perfect for my hero and heroine to meet.
So doing a little research can change the story!
In DESTINY OF THE WOLF, I wanted a silver mining town that was my very own. I had visited several, and one, Telluride, I had a ball skiing at. In fact, it was the only ski resort I ever skied at that I actually got hot and started stripping out of warm weather gear. Hmm, maybe that’s where I get some of my wolf ideas of stripping in the snow…
While working on a scene for SEDUCED BY THE WOLF, I wanted to know where the wolves’ exhibit is at the Oregon Zoo. They have two gray wolves there. The zoo is backed up on Forest Park. But where is the wolves’ exhibit? Inquiring minds had to know. A map of the zoo is available on a website, but what surrounds the zoo? Google Earth gave me the answer.
In TO TEMPT THE WOLF, I had to learn about cabins on the Oregon coast, what was allowed. I read about a winter storm where the winds were hurricane strength. I studied the pictures and the road conditions from blogs. Tessa’s brother is incarcerated and I had to learn where he might be in prison. They needed to go to a hospital and I had to know how far away medical services were. The works are fiction, so the places are not absolutely real, although they can be based on real places. In HEART OF THE WOLF, the ranch where the bad alpha leader lives was based on a real ranch for sale in the area. Now, Leidolf of SEDUCED BY THE WOLF lives there.
Research can add credibility to the incredible world.
Greta also asked if where I live, wolves are abundant. They used to be. In fact, they used to live everywhere. But alas, the closest to where I live are in Louisiana.
Now for the good news! Just for commenting on Greta’s fun blog, you’ll have a chance to win TO TEMPT THE WOLF, or if you prefer, one of the earlier books if you already have this one.
And if you are interested, you can find me at these places:
Thanks again, Greta, for having me, and thanks to everyone for dropping by and commenting!
“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male.”