Please welcome my long-time blog buddy Deniz Bevan to the blog today! I asked Devin about the spark for her great story.
Thank you, Jemi, for the opportunity to post on your blog!
I was looking back over some of my blog posts about Druid’s Moon and remembered all the research I’d done for the story. I can’t find any written mention of what sparked the initial idea; I’ll bet there are some explanatory scribbles in the margins of my first draft on paper, but to find that I’d need an intern, to dig into some of the bins in the storage space downstairs.
The closest I’ve come is a brief mention in a post of the dream that sparked the tale (https://thegirdleofmelian.
I do have records of my research, though!
This was my first contemporary story in some time, so it was fun not to have to double-check every piece of vocabulary (except for my characters from Cornwall!) and determine when certain words entered everyday language (the Oxford English Dictionary is very helpful in this regard) or worry about methods of transport (all I had to do was look up a few schedules on the United Kingdom National Rail site).
Of course, being me, the story included historical references, and those required quite a bit of research!
I needed to look up lists of baronetcies to make sure Frederick had a title that wasn’t connected to anyone improper, wasn’t currently in use, and hadn’t been linked with salacious activities in the past. I also delved into Celtic myths and legends, went back and read the original Beauty and the Beast fairytale a few times, looked up Kraken and the habits of octopi, glanced at shipping and trade patterns along the Cornish coast (https://thegirdleofmelian.
Somewhere along the way, I found a video of one of my favourite actors, Ioan Gruffudd, reading from The Mabinogion in Welsh: https://thegirdleofmelian.
I had one blog post in which I wrote, “I need one more spell and one more curse”! https://thegirdleofmelian.
The other main research area for this book was archaeology. Lyne is a graduate student in archaeology on her first official dig, and I needed vocabulary, standard operating procedures, insider tips, and stuff that was so familiar to archaeologists that they wouldn’t even think to mention it. I started following archaeologists’ blogs, I got into Time Team, I bought introductory books on archaeology, I reread Agatha Christie (https://thegirdleofmelian.
I even got to feature author and archaeologist Jordan Jacobs on my blog! http://thegirdleofmelian.
The last time I compiled all my research needs was over two years ago: http://thegirdleofmelian.
I get a kick out of tracking all the weird stuff I somehow seem to need to know for my stories. And I love poking around among dusty books in libraries!
The final few items in that post were all about my abject ignorance of flora, medieval images, tips for using square brackets when writing historical fiction, why published authors always tell aspiring authors to READ, plus can you identify this item? and how would you take a snail to Constantinople?...
Love it!!! It doesn't surprise me in the least that you enjoy poking around libraries and digging in deep with the research. It pays off so well in your story.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an early copy of Druid's Moon and it is fabulous! Here's my review.
Druid's Moon is an intense and captivating retelling of the Beauty and the Beast legend.
Set in modern times, Lyne is an archeology student who is thrilled to be working closely with her professor on a dig. They discover pages of an old manuscript that details a curse.
When some of the events in the curse appear to happen, Lyne starts to wonder if there is any possibility the curse is real - and if she is part of it.
I don't want to give away spoilers so I won't give details, but the plot twisted in unexpected and intriguing ways that had me reading well into the night. The characters pulled me into the story until I needed to know if they would find a happy ending or if the curse would prevail.
This is a terrific read and if you love mysteries and retellings, you're going to love it!
By Deniz Bevan
Beauty to his Beast…
Lyne Vanlith, an archaeologist who seeks a logical explanation to any mystery, discovers an ancient Druidic curse on her first dig. When the signs foretold by the curse descend on her, Lyne can’t find a reasonable interpretation.
And that’s even before a Beast rescues her from a monstrous sea-creature. She drops a grateful kiss on the snout of the Beast, who transforms into a man, Frederick Cunnick, Baron of Lansladron. Lyne is meant to be Beauty to his Beast—and break the curse forever.
Now both spellkeeper and monster are targeting Lyne. She must take up her legendary role, to defeat the curse and save Frederick—and herself. Instead of logic, for the first time, Lyne must trust her heart.
Release date – September 20, 2022
$14.95, 6x9 trade paperback, 226 pages
Fantasy – Romance (FIC009090) / Paranormal (FIC009050) / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology (FIC010000)
Print ISBN 9781939844866 / EBook ISBN 9781939844873
$4.99 EBook available in all formats
A firm believer in burning the candle at both ends, Deniz Bevan is generally writing a new novel while editing another and blogging about her reading and research adventures. Other days, she tries to stay off the web altogether, as she delves into the history, mystery, and romance of her characters’ lives. http://thegirdleofmelian.
Apple - https://books.apple.com/us/
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/
Barnes & Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.
Kobo - https://store.kobobooks.com/
Scribd - https://www.scribd.com/search?
Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/
How about you? Does anyone else do deep dives into research like Deniz? What's something interesting you've learned? Do you love poking into libraries? (I do!)