Jessie-In New Hampshire where the mornings are cool enough to need a sweater to walk my dog.
Curiosity is our theme this month and it happens to be one of my very favorites! I adore research and giving my curiosity its head and I know that most of you are endlessly curious about certain things too. I wondered this week what sort of rabbit holes your curiosity sent you tumbling down that ended up in one of your novels
Barb: For Iced Under: I knew for a long time that Julia Snowden’s mother’s ancestors made their money in the frozen water trade. Those wily entrepreneurs who cut ice on frozen ponds and rivers and sent it of to New Orleans, Havana, and Bombay. But I knew next to nothing and loved learning about it. For Steamed Open, learning about Maine shoreline property rights which descend from an Ordinance from 1641 and are probably not what you think they are. And for Shucked Apart, learning about oyster farming.
Liz: For the book I’m working on right now, I stumbled upon something called the shellfish group on Martha’s Vineyard, which is apparently a group that preserves the island’s shellfisheries. So of course now I need to learn more about this and how the presumed infighting between the reps from each town could result in murder.
Julie: For the Clock Shop series, I had to learn about clock making. There was a ton of research, very little of which ended up in the books. But the passion of the clockmakers hopefully did. My recent rabbit hole is con artists. I’m reading The Big Con by David W. Maurer, which explains how cons work. I’ve also rewatched all of the Ocean movies. Needless to say, I’m pondering a new idea…
Sherry: Julie, I remember how amazed I was when I read Just Killing Time and the depth of knowledge you had about clocks. No one reading it would ever guess you didn’t know anything about clocks when you started writing it! I loved learning more about tramp art for one of my Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. It started with a piece that my sister found in my grandparent’s basement tucked behind many other things. And I confess I really enjoyed going to beach bars when researching the Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mysteries!
Edith/Maddie: I was about to write, No fair, Sherry, setting a series in a beach bar. Then I remembered I am just about to debut one with a wine bar setting! Yes, that is extreme-fun research, especially the hands-on (glass) type. But I’ve also dug into the Pomo Indian culture in the Alexander Valley, and learned that Blacks migrated there, started businesses, and built houses in the later part of the nineteenth century. And did you know many wine grapes in the region are picked at night when the temperatures are cooler? The harvest, which happens during September and October, is the very hottest time of the year.
Jessie: Julie, I love con artist stories! All of this research is so interesting it makes me itch to hop down some rabbit holes of my own! As for me, I think the trip I took to Lily Dale, NY to the Spiritualist enclave was my deepest dive so far. It was fascinating to attend group sessions, private readings, and reiki healing circles. Even the gift shop proved a source of information and inspiration!
Readers, do you end up tumbling down rabbit holes when you are on the internet?