So here’s one of the things that qualifies me for the moniker of “obsessed writer”. I’m a stickler about getting the facts right. For my first two “Muskoka Novels”, The Summer Before The Storm and Elusive Dawn, I read over 170 books, consulted hundreds of websites, visited museums, WW1 battlefields and cemeteries, and joined three war forums, where I asked experts about obscure facts I couldn’t find anywhere else. Those forums became an obsession in themselves. The Great War Forum has over 23,000 members worldwide, so you can imagine how many discussions were posted daily. I finally had to stop actively participating or Elusive Dawn would never have been completed. I have to admit that I still haven’t left them behind completely, although my research on the war is done.
During my final editing of Elusive Dawn I wanted to write a good description of the Bronte moors, but have never been there in winter, only in summer. Doing a search on the Internet, I came across a report from a British ecologist about the moors. So I sent an email requesting more info. Imagine how surprised I was to have a response from BBC Radio Sheffield asking it I would be on the Rony Robinson show? Host Rony would call in the experts and supply me with the desired details. So there I was at 7:00 AM on a transcontinental chat with Rony, the ecologist professor, a renowned artist, and the curator of the Bronte museum. Unfortunately a bad connection kept me from speaking much with them, but I heard it all and came away with an embarrassment of riches from the 20 minute discussion. All I had really needed were a few lines to describe colours, textures, and vegetation in November. I then felt compelled to beef up the description to do some justice to the time invested by these generous people.
Research is such fun!