A Research High

Does anyone else enjoy, I mean really enjoy, researching? Well, it’s not a big secret at my house how much I LOVE and thrive on research. That is one reason I love to plot and write historical fiction. All those facts weaved in with fiction. What a combination! Another plus of stay at home–joining my Jane Austen binge, NaNoWriMo writing, and gardening–is research.

IMG_5166I usually have to wait until the summer or Christmas break to read and study all the books for a new project. A blessing during quarantine has been my research on 1740s France during the Enlightenment era with characters such as King Louis XV, Rousseau, Voltaire, and Madame Dupin and her salons. I chose the period before the French Revolution to add a glimpse of what led to the downfall of the monarchy.

IMG_5165I set my new work at the Chenonceau château–my favorite place on earth! No, really. This castle is called the Ladies’ Château for most of the owners have been women. In 1740 the famous woman was Louise Dupin who is known for her enlightening salons where celebrated and want-to-be philosophers met and expounded on their thoughts and theories. I’m using this search for knowledge and truth as the background for my characters facing “truth” in its many forms.

IMG_5167Even though I’ve started writing my novel, I continue to research. When I rewrite it, I’ll include any tidbits that I need to ground it in history. I always feel down when I’ve finished a research project.

Bring on the non-fiction research materials. I purchase my research books so that I can glean more from them at any point. For Whispers of Wisdom (Book three in Gardens of Time) I’ll read and use about twenty resources.

IMG_5168Oh, and did I mention that part of my research always includes a personal visit to the sites that I include in my novels? I continue to show up on the Chenonceau property to wander the rooms and stroll the avenues and gardens.

Is there any research you are passionate about when you have time to explore? Vacation planning, ancestry, how to….