Monday, June 13, 2011

Reasearch; Edinburgh Castle, and why I love both.

Many people ask me about the kind of research I do for my books, then sigh, and insert words like; tedious, back-breaking, and such. Now, I love research... here's how one such outing into wikipedia changed Jamie2.

I was looking for a Jacobite family in Fife around 1708, to base an overnight stay for Jamie. (Even for small details like this, I try to stay true to history) I tried a few of the bigger families, but none really fit the story, then I found that Tarvit House had been re-designed by Sir William Bruce. I liked the name and dug deeper.

Turns out Sir William had been openly Jacobite, and a Stuart man all his life, and his eldest son was in London, actually sitting in his father's seat in the English (sorry, British) parliament. (So a family in deep schism there... I liked this.) One more bit of digging put Sir William in a cell in Edinburgh Castle in 1708.

Since Jamie was in Scotland to deliver letters, it only took a wee bit of backstory to put Jamie into a treacherous invasion of the castle. The research had changed the book. And for the better.

NOW... the story doesn't stop there. A look at the history of Edinburgh Castle shows that a new part was under construction in 1708; the Queen Anne Building. That gave Jamie a chance to sneak in as part of the work team. I mean, the story was writing itself!

Research. Love it.

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