Monday, May 5, 2014

Nerds Do It With Research

I am currently toiling away at the sequel to Emmaline's Groom- the second in The Ravenswood Manor Series.

This is my first time at trying my hand at a series and I am feeling a little bit like I painted myself into a corner. Not too much, because I had in mind from the beginning that this would be a series, but stuff I did not take into account has taken up a lot of time and research.

I gave Emmaline a hopelessly-in-love brother, Wesley. He serves as a catalyst for getting Emmaline to admit her true feelings for Leo and for them ending up together.

I made him heartbroken, he had fallen in love with a married woman, and then we learn she is pregnant.

So my story line for Wesley had to begin with him either moving on past this woman I had him so hopelessly in love with- or navigating a very modern day situation in the Victorian era.

Thus began my hours of research. Then my research about Victorian era marriage laws and divorce starting leading to other research based on little bread crumbs I found in this research. (Does anyone else get themselves stuck on Wikipedia threads for hours on end?)

I have Wesley's story about a third of the way written. I am also up on all my Victorian marriage and divorces, the end of the century bicycling craze, as well as underwear of that time.

Every night when my husband and I catch up about our day at dinner, I tell him all about my research. I think my nerdiness turns him on a little. Which would make sense- he fell in love with me before being nerdy was cool.

I think its the same as when he starts telling me about some new recipe he wants to make me. He gets so passionate and excited in his descriptions that it turns me on a little. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be married to Bobby Flay?

Either way, we have been sharing links and having rousing discussions about the Victorian era for so many months now, it has become our norm.

It makes me wonder what the hell we talked about before.

Anyway, I am off to get back to writing, or researching. I will leave you with this part from Emmaline's Groom, where we first meet Wesley:

I am not a baby anymore, Wesley,” she retorted and snatched the flask back from his hands, taking another drink before he had the chance to catch up.

I can see that,” he answered, taking the flask back and tucking it to his side and out of her reach. “You were never a baby, even when you were. What has you tied up in knots?”

Her eyes burned with the remainder of her unshed tears. She would not cry in front of Wesley. He could seem sincere, but he had been her resident tormenter her entire life, she doubted much had changed. When she did not answer his question, he slipped an arm around her shoulders. She had begun to shiver as the damp, cold ground seeped into the seat of her pants. Now his arm around her made her warm, or it was further effects from the liquor. She allowed herself to lean her head on his shoulder.

Have you ever been in love?” The question slipped past her lips and she braced herself for his ridicule.

Wesley made a rueful sound and took up the flask again. He took a healthy drink and passed it back to her with a nod.
Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt that the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love.” He leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes.

Emma let her mouth hang open as she stared back at him. “Are you quoting Shakespeare?” She let out a braying laugh as she brought the flask back to her mouth. The liquid had just breached her lips when he snatched it away from her, causing the alcohol to spill down the front of her.

I am baring my soul and you laugh at me?” He threw his hands up in the air.
She could not decide if he was serious or pulling her leg. She also wondered how much he had drank before she came upon him.

Does this have something to do with Lady Trimble? I heard she is expecting.” She ventured a guess, based on town gossip and the bits she heard from the staff.

Ah, my dearest Lena,” he said with a sigh.

That confirmed her suspicions about Wesley being Lady Trimble's paramour before he fled to America. Not that she could blame Lady Trimble, the gossip in her social circles was that her husband was a social climber who blackmailed Lena into marriage. But she had the urge to defend her brother against this woman who took his love and broke his heart.

Emmaline's Groom is on sale now!


  1. I quite like the getting caught up in research thing.

    Sometime I write a scene and leave blanks to go and fill in when I've done a bit more research only to find that it wasn't quite how I originally imagined it and have to rethink the whole thing. In the latest book (currently in editing) I had this idea of a sort of salon where scientific luminaries would all hang out and do some science together but I couldn't find any facts to back that up so the section got massively reduced down and turned into a dinner party at the Director of Physic's apartment at the Royal Institution.

    The heroine of the book I have just started is a member of the Aesthetic Dress Movement which was part of Victorian Rational Dress Reforms - where women rebelled against constricting corsets and stuff. That's a pretty interesting area of research.

    Totally can't wait for new Ravenswood Manor book by the way. Keep going!

  2. Have fun with your research, Casey!!
    I can't wait to read Wesley's story!

  3. Me too! And sometimes the research leads to other story ideas and on and on. It does appeal to my geeky side. Looking forward to more in your series too.

  4. Ooh, I like how Mr McKay finds research and nerdy kinda sexy.

    It's funny what you can find yourself researching....the other day I was looking up how to track someone using their phone....Stalker alert:D

  5. You and your hubs are so cute. I've got a whole page of notes on things I'm supposed to be researching this very minute. Starting with a map of the Tortugas. Better get to it. Hugs!

  6. You are both crazy!! I'm looking forward to Wesley's story and as far as research, better you than me...