Author's Blog

Research – The Essential Ingredient

After I create my stories, I begin the mammoth task of researching; making sure that all the content in my story is correct and gaining material to expand on topics where I lacked the knowledge. I find research to be vital, adding authenticity and correctness to a story.

My Thoughtmover series needed an incredible amount of research that I had done on everything from types of landscapes, modes of transportation, suitable weapons, appropriate fashion, and the list goes on. I even researched the names of characters, places, and things in the story, to pick names that were fitting to their role.

Dictionary Set

For me, research is more than getting information from a book or retrieving it from the Internet–that I learned the hard way is not always correct–but to obtain the information from people who hold personal knowledge and experiences in that area, people who have ‘been there and done that’. Even in fantasy, content must be depicted as real and accurate as possible.

Tall Sail Ship

For The Alkahest, an area that required research was tall ships. Lacking personal nautical experience, I met up with a sailor, who was kind enough to share his experiences with me on tall ships, information that is not easily obtainable elsewhere. This type of personal information includes unique feelings and thoughts that arise on board and how the senses are touched by actions or events that occur on these ships.

I use this personal information to create conditions on a ship that allow the reader to feel as if they are riding aboard that ship, experiencing the life and challenges of the characters. I think a writer’s greatest accomplishment is when he or she can take their readers and put them into the world of the story, to travel with the characters on their journey.

Researching for my books is one of my favorite tasks in writing next to the creation of my stories. It has not only given me knowledge in areas where it lacked, but it has allowed me to meet wonderful and skilled people that have made my life richer and my stories better.

Alandra CL Website Launch

The long-awaited day has finally arrived, and putting up my website is a milestone in my writing career.

I have to admit, I greet it with a sense of excitement but also a sense of dread. The internet has become a huge marketing tool, that reaches out to every corner of the globe.

Once something is out there, it’s out there!

For me, that is a scary thought and a huge step to take in my writing career.

Alandra CL Website Homepage

Screen capture of homepage

Writing is an art and like all arts, there is a huge piece of your personal-self mixed into that work of art. Showing your art to the world means not only exposing yourself, but also setting yourself up for critique – good and bad critique. Let’s face it, who likes bad critique. Not only will I need to develop a thick skin, I will need to look at that critique objectively; after all, there can be a lot to learn from constructive criticism.

I will, however, not allow this spark of dread to spoil all the excitement bubbling over in me and dampen this memorable occasion. There is so much to look forward to with the release of my website. The most important one is having a venue with which to communicate with you, my reader. Creating my stories has been thrilling, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them for you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Months of planning and hard work have gone into the design of my website. Many have participated in making this day possible for me. I owe a debt of thanks to my awesome web designer, Alex, who has created an artistic and functional masterpiece for me. I would also like to thank my computer programmer, Nathen, who not only has done a fantastic job but also squeezed my website work into his busy schedule so I could meet my deadline. More thanks goes to my editor and mentor, Pat Lobrutto, whose valuable input has made this website even better and who continues to make me a better writer.

Enjoy it!