The Wondrous Rabbit Holes of Book Research

One aspect I love about writing is the research I do on subjects I would never have reason to do otherwise. On any given day, I might research the moths of China, Ptolemy and the maps of early navigators, the nomadic cultures of the Sahara, the anatomy of sailing ships and hot air balloons, the English Restoration, Sanderson's Three Laws of Magic, global wind patterns, or the history of confections, to name a few. It is an endless rabbit hole that leads to endless more in which storylines, characters, and settings leap onto the pages of my manuscripts. This collision of constant learning and subsequent imagination fuels my daily work and greater life.

In my never-ending desire to share, here are some fascinating and recent rabbit holes I've visited that you might enjoy.


The Greatest Pirate Ever Was A Woman

The story of Ching Shih, history's most successful pirate, and notably a woman, commanded the eighty-thousand-man navy the of Red Flag Fleet.


Learn about the life of Ching Shih


Why I researched: Clara Poole, banished to the belly of the Amelia (the balloon of washed-up champion Greta Guildersleeve), finds a hidden library of sorts filled with books on early explorers and navigators, including this fascinating woman.

The Blue People

Explore the amazing culture of the Tuareg people of the North African Sahara, known for the bright veils and the indigo pigment that stain their faces blue.


On Youtube

On Nation Geographic


Why I researched: Clara's and Guildersleeve's balloon is brought down by a group of nomads in a case of mistaken identity, leading to an unlikely reunion, and a grand celebration in a desert oasis.

Moon Moths (aka Luna Moths)

One of the most stunningly beautiful moths you will ever see, moon moths' corkscrew tails act to beat the air and disorient the sonar of the bats who prey upon them.


Links

On Audubon

On NatGeo Kids

Why I researched: Clara Poole encounters these moths while flying though the magical and misty Tianzi Mountains of China.

Extreme Origami and the Art of Eric Joisel

Eric Joisel is considered one of the finest origami masters that ever lived. If you have never experienced his art, now is your chance. Your respect for paper will change forever.


Links

Official webiste of Eric Joisel

Between the Folds - The Movie


Why I researched: Clara Poole discovers the secrets of extreme origami when Amelia, the balloon of old champion, Greta Guildersleeve, magically unfolds over the French countryside to reveal its true wonder.

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