Sourcebooks has offered two copies of Virgin to our readers. Read on to find out how to enter the drawing.
The Power of Research
By Cheryl Brooks
As a result, exercising my imagination has become far more important than research, unlike, say the research a historical writer must do. The locations of cities, battles, and where Napoleon spent the night on a certain date don’t matter to me. I do check my science facts, and I’ve made timelines and maps of the various planets as well as their locations within our galaxy, but to become an expert on such things as what women wore beneath their ballgowns during the Regency period is unnecessary.
We’ve all seen enough science fiction classics to make the leap of faith necessary to believe that interstellar travel is possible and can be accomplished in a reasonable period of time, but to attempt to explain the theories involved is pointless when writing a romance. Perhaps the best example of this was Star Wars. Starships, advanced technology, and weird aliens were presented—and therefore accepted—as commonplace, proving that it’s best to wow the audience without the characters having the same reaction or forcing them to explain everything.
When I look into the future, my research often has more to do with the workings of nature than technology. I’ve reviewed the characteristics of various climates and terrains and have studied diagrams of wind currents and ocean breezes. I’ve learned the best conditions for growing avocados—no frost and not much wind. For my next book, The Cat Star Chronicles # 8: Stud, I researched various primitive weapons and how to make them. I may not ever need to make a bow or an arrowhead, but I’ve seen it done and could probably get the hang of it eventually.
In my latest release, Virgin, my hero and heroine travel to the planet Rhylos, which is referred to as the playground of the galaxy. The idea for Damenk, a major city on that world, came as a result of a trip I once took to Las Vegas. Now, I realize that a trip to Vegas might not seem like research, but if you’ve ever been there, you’ll probably agree that it’s a bit like visiting another planet. To create Damenk, I also read up on the power of pheromones and subliminal advertising and then let my imagination run wild.
Virgin introduces a new species to the series, the Aquerei. Their world is covered in water and has very little land, much like the setting of the movie, Waterworld. Since the Aquerei live primarily beneath the sea, I had to revisit my days of being a Jacques Cousteau fan and study the undersea world of nudibranches, mollusks, and anemones. Ocean currents became important. I stood by the salt water aquarium in my dermatologist’s office and took notes on the way anemones moved, their colorations, and the feeling I derived simply from observing them.
I often feel that time spent on research is time subtracted from my writing, but it’s worth it in the end. Besides, you never know when you’ll need to know how to grow an avocado or make an atlatl.
What’s that you say? You’ve never heard of an atlatl? Before I did my research on primitive weapons, neither had I.
But I learned.
He’s never met anyone who made him purr…
Starship pilot Dax never encountered a woman he wanted badly enough. Until he met Ava Karon…
And he’ll never give his body without giving his heart…
Dax is happy to take Ava back to her home planet, until he finds out she’s returning to an old boyfriend…
As their journey together turns into a quest neither expected, Ava would give herself to Dax in a heartbeat. Except he doesn’t know the first thing about seducing a woman…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Cheryl Brooks is a critical care nurse by night and a romance writer by day. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America. She is the author of The Cat Star Chronicles series and lives with her husband, two sons, five cats, five horses and one dog in Indiana. For more information, please visit http://www.cherylbrooksonline.com/
-- Lynda Again
As I mentioned earlier, Sourcebooks has offered us two copies of Virgin. How can you get in the drawing? Easy!
Send an email to me at Lynda@LyndaKScott.com by Friday, June 24
1) Put Dax in the subject line
2) What new species shows up in Virgin for the first time? ________
3) Give me your name and snail mail address.
On Friday, Wookie (my alien kitten) and I will select and announce the winners. Good luck all and have a Blessed Day!