Monday, August 4, 2014

Research, Reagent Protocol, and The Future

Hello, everyone.  This is going to be a quickie, but I felt like I owed you all something to prove I was still alive.

First off, I want to touch on what I do for research.  I frequently do hours of research (though to be fair, it's done online and some of it comes from Wikipedia, so you can give me as much credit for accuracy as you wish) for small details, just to make sure they're right.  For example, the Sanskrit I used for Skorpion's gloves in Reagent Protocol and the mythology associated with the word I chose for poison took me over two hours.  That doesn't seem like much, when you consider the years some people spend researching certain subjects, but most of these people are doing research for entire books, or series, etc, not just a small aspect of one.  I could have picked almost anything, but I wanted something different, perhaps unique, to make the book stand out.  Besides, I do pride myself a little bit on accuracy, even if it is fictional.

Let me give you another, specific, example of the research I do.  When attempting to find some way for Shawn to forge the one ring (couldn't resist) he made in Reagent Protocol, I watched a demonstration of something called crucible steel.  When I say demonstration of it, I mean a demonstration of everything from the forging of a sword from the steel to the actual refining of the ore.  That's where I got the idea for the oven he melted the ore in, actually.  Okay, that's where I ripped the idea from.  I just added a little magical pizzazz to make it fit better.  If you have any interest in seeing this demonstration, I can highly recommend an episode of Nova where they make a Viking sword roughly a millennium ahead of its time.  For those of you with Amazon Prime video streaming, you can watch it through that service in high definition.  You'll want Nova Season 8, episode 11.  If you're anything like me, just watching the sword getting forged is very entertaining, but in the finest traditions of the Nova show, it's also very informative and moves along at an excellent pace.  If you're not a Prime subscriber but you are a Netflix subscriber, you can watch it there, too, if you'd like.  Just do a search for "Secrets of the Viking Sword" and it'll come up fine.  If you don't subscribe to either, you can watch on PBS's website for free (assuming you're a resident of the USA or have a proxy set up properly to view content).  I found it fascinating.

So, if you've ever wondered why I'm so specific about certain details in my writing, it's because I have reason to be.

Anyway, speaking of Reagent Protocol, I have plans to eventually add another short story to it.  After all, I've only showed what, arguably, are success stories for those seeking redemption.  Not every story has such a happy ending.

Moving on to the future (don't want to disappoint people by not coming through on that), my plans seem to fluctuate with whatever I can create at the time.  At the moment I'm working on a (hopefully much more successful and, outlined, much longer) followup to The Grand Granger.  I'm in very early stages of the rough draft, but we'll see where the tides take us.  That's not to say I'm not also pecking away at Guild Files: Rogue, but it's definitely taken a back seat.  Why?  Sociopaths are easy to create but hard to write.

Take from that what you will.

On that note I'm going to wrap things up.  Yes, I'm still alive.  Yes, I have reasons, and reasons aplenty, why I haven't been more talkative or creative lately.  No, I'm not going to share them.  They're personal and this isn't a blog about my personal life.

Thanks for reading and be sure to tell all your friends about how awesome at least some of my writing is!