Thanks so much to Annette for allowing me to join her today. I’m happy to be here.
I wanted to talk a bit today about doing research for romance novels. I think most of us will agree it’s vital to establishing time and place and overall feeling.
But is there such a thing as too much research in a book? I believe it’s possible, depending on the type of book.
When I research a location or time period, I want to be able to convey enough detail that the reader feels swept away but not bogged down. For instance, when I wrote my Orkney Selkie series, I wanted my fans to get a sense for the rugged locale of Orkney, Scotland, but I did not intend to write a travelogue or a history of Orkney. The same is true for my fictional setting of Gemini Island, Ontario. I wanted to describe it just enough that a reader can envision the spot, but not have to worry about specifics.
After all, a good romance thrives on imagination, the writer’s and the reader’s. And there’s nothing worse for a writer than knowing someone skimmed passages that were too descriptive or unnecessary.
So what’s my research strategy when I begin a series? I research as thoroughly as I can, and then I put my research notes away. In my opinion, if a tiny detail is forgettable to me, I probably don’t need to trouble my readers with it. Indeed, do my readers really care what sorts of trees grow on Gemini Island? No, I believe they just want a feeling for the majestic woods and the characters that live there.
Just as an author can spend too much time describing a character’s appearance, right down to the golden highlights in her hair or the teeny mole on his upper shoulder, an author can dwell too long on setting details.
I admire the writers who spend years doing their research. In some books, I can appreciate this. But in a story where the main focus is the romance? I guess I just don’t always find it necessary. My imagination will fill in any little details anyway.
About Predator's Fire
When Nina Suzuki discovers the body of her best friend, Janine, her world turns upside down. Things go from bad to worse when Janine’s corpse seems to transform into that of a large, brown wolf. For the first time, Nina is faced to confront all the clues indicating her BFF was not what she seemed. A letter from the dead woman opens Nina’s eyes to a strange new world. The same letter warns of a sinister group called the Alpha Brethren and urges her to find Killian Moon of the Ursa Fishing Lodge and Resort on Gemini Island.
Killian Moon is a jaguar shifter and teen mentor at the Ursa Lodge in Northern Ontario. He may be a comfort and inspiration to confused teen shifters, but he also has a fiery past. His past comes back to haunt him when human Nina arrives at the resort, demanding to speak with him. Demanding answers. Can he trust her with knowledge that will not only change her life, but possibly endanger those around him?
As Killian begrudgingly tutors Nina on all things shifter, their mutual curiosity flares into passionate need. Once they touch, once they succumb to desire, there is no going back. Killian realizes Nina is his mate and they both begin to comprehend the terror threatening those on their shifter-friendly island. He is forced to confront the tragedy in his family and determines to protect Nina at all costs.
But can they protect everyone they love from a cult of dangerous shifters, intent on horror and destruction?
“How much longer do I have to wait? I want to see Killian Moon. Now.”
The feminine voice, strangely soft despite its insistence, echoed deep in his being, awakening his jaguar. The great cat roared to life, turned toward the office and inhaled deeply. Its eyes flashed in interest.
Killian breathed in at the same time, catching the scent of cherry blossoms through the door. The sweet perfume, mixed with human outrage, proved a heady distraction, making him forget why he was there. Shaking his head, he tried to dismiss the odd sensation as Ryland opened the door.
The door swung open and the first person he glimpsed was one of the clerks from reception, trying his hardest to placate the unexpected guest. “I’m sure Mr. Snow and Mr. Moon will be right back.”
And then his gaze landed on the petite human. Tapered Asian eyes, so dark and mysterious, but rimmed with circles of exhaustion. Smooth, cinnamon skin hinted at a mixed background. Wearing no makeup, she appeared younger than she must be, but her presence and keen eyes pegged her at around thirty years old. She had a riot of curly, black hair and feminine curves that ought to come with a warning. He could see it now. Beware: This woman’s body will cause insanity in men. Even as she gesticulated at the clerk, her boobs jiggled in such a way his throat went dry.
He pictured her in a corset, her breasts spilling over delicate lace edging, and almost forgot his name.
This Nina Suzuki was damn hot and his jaguar seemed to agree. The animal licked its lips, its golden gaze assessing and appreciating every detail, from her rounded hips to her come-hither rack.
Yes, the creature uttered on a frenzied breath.
Predator’s Fire, Gemini Island Shifters 5, is available at http://www.lsbooks.com/predator-s-fire-p946.php as well as Amazon, Kobo, ARE, B&N and other outlets.
Rosanna Leo is a multi-published, erotic romance author with Liquid Silver Books who lives and breathes paranormal romance. Several of her books about Greek gods, selkies and shape shifters have been named Night Owl Romance and Two Lips Recommended Reads. When not writing, she can be found haunting dusty library stacks or planning her next star-crossed love affair.