Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Guest Post - The Long & Winding Road of Research - Deniz Bevan

Today I welcome Deniz Bevan! I asked her to talk about research and her upcoming release, Druid's Moon.

The Long and Winding Road of Research

A guest post by Deniz Bevan

Every time I finish a story, I think to myself, “next time I’ll write something contemporary, set in the town I live in, so that I don’t have to do any research!”

In over three decades of writing, this has still yet to happen!

Druid’s Moon started out with an idea from a dream: A man and a woman in a storeroom in a cave, with the door barred, and antagonists on the other side of the door, doing their darndest to get in. Somehow, I knew that the man had been a beast, and that there were even more evil creatures in the depths of the cave, and they had to be defeated.

The fantasy aspect was easy to create! Then came all the bits and pieces of the plot and character backgrounds, and suddenly I had a research list of more than 10 all-encompassing items.

Here are a few:

Kraken: How to merge previous legends with mine
Archaeology: Daily life on a dig, qualifications, language
Cornwall: Locations and languages
Noble families of England, Scotland and Wales: A plausible name and ancestry for Frederick
Fairy tales: Genre staples for Beauty and the Beast tales

There were other items I read up on, including druids and their tombs and Welsh and Cornish myths and legends, that I found I didn’t need as much after all, but everything that had the right sort of flavour, I would read. The most exciting part is always the serendipity of research something and realising that you got it exactly right, or that your story and setting have dovetailed nicely into the history of that location.

The historical aspects of some of my research areas were the ones that really sent me down rabbit holes. The history of shipping, the history of Cornwall... Even ancient art depicting retellings of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale would pique my interest. I’d go to the university library and come back with two stacks of books!

While I’m in the midst of drafting and editing, I try not to read fiction set in my time or place, as I don’t want to be unduly influenced. Later, when edits are nearly complete, I might turn to fiction, to see how other authors have addressed the same location or central idea.

Eventually, there comes a moment when I realise I’m using research as an excuse to procrastinate on edits.

When that happens, focusing on the characters themselves generally gets me back into the story. Some of the most fun research is keeping an eye out for character faces!

Here are Lyne and Frederick:

Frederick is a photo of Romain Grosjean that I came across in my local newspaper; and Lyne is an unnamed screenshot from a survey I was in the middle of taking!

You just never know where the research road will take you...

Druid’s Moon
By Deniz Bevan

Beauty to his Beast…

Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.

And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.

Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.

Release date – September 20, 2022
$14.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 226 pages
Fantasy – Romance (FIC009090) / Paranormal (FIC009050) / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology (FIC010000)
Print ISBN 9781939844866 / EBook ISBN 9781939844873
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives.

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Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Now you know why I write about worlds in a galaxy far, far away - less research!
Congratulations on the upcoming release, Deniz.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thank you for hosting Deniz. She put just the right amount of research in her novel.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Deniz - now I can see how you get your research done ... but your own little town where you live - will have lots of history too. Good luck with the release - and I love that bio-photo - excellent one. Cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Thank you, Alex, Diane, and Hilary, and thanks Shannon for hosting me!

Deniz Bevan said...

Love your submission roundup, by the way, it's very helpful!