Whenever I start a new book I always research a couple of topics that I present in the book. Don’t get me wrong–I’m not the type to research so deeply that I’ll get everything write and double check I have named every piece of clothing correctly and got every street name right, but I do think embedding the truth into a work of fiction is very important for setting.
For example, before writing My Life At the MBRC–which revolves around Chicago–I did an extended tour of the city with a close friend of mine. The street names, restaurant locations, museum hours, and bus schedule are all real and based on the maps/schedules I found in 2009. For the two-parter Robyn Hood series I read the traditional ballads about Robyn Hood and some of the earliest fiction books written about him. (All the ballads except for the one Dan the Musician sings are all real Robyn Hood songs.) I also took an archery class so I had a rough idea of the shooting process. Additionally, most of my information on King Richard is historically accurate. All of the information I present in his capture and rescue (Including the fact that his mother hawked the Crown Jewels to free him) is real.
OK, OK, basic research is important for me, you get it! Why does that matter? Because I think it’s about to backfire on me. The heroine of one of my newest projects that I’m prepping for loves cooking and baking. Because I want to be able to properly express her what happens as she cooks I’ve been cooking too. Just recently I’ve made: Homemade bread, Creme Brulee, chocolate iced coffee (I’m addicted to this now), pumpkin soup, chocolate covered coffee beans, homemade chocolate, cookies and cream fudge, I really could go on but I’m starting to feel ashamed.
The problem here is that I have a major lack of self control, and fudge and creme brulee aren’t exactly light in the calorie area. I know this because my jeans are fitting distinctly tighter. I suppose I could balance it out by making my next heroine a fitness nut, but I feel like I need a lung transplant if I run for more than three minutes so I do not see that happening. Hopefully I will be able to tame it down soon, but in the mean time my pants will have to suffer.