Hello everyone,

Research is a constant, ongoing process while writing historical fiction. Sometimes a fascinating tidbit surfaces that might be of particular interest beyond its use in a novel. As I continue to work in the historical fiction field, I will post those occasional points of interest here. Occasionally I muse on the writing process as well along with news to keep readers informed of what's going on with my books and other writings.

Please feel free to post comments--I'd love to hear from you.

The photo above is of Snowdonia in North Wales, which plays a large part in the setting of the Macsen's Treasure Series.


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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Google Earth: A fabulous research tool

Well, I finally made the leap to high-speed internet and in the process discovered Google Earth. What a tremendous research tool it turns out to be!

While working on the novel which will be the fourth and final installment of the Macsen's Treasure series, I needed to see what my character Marcus ap Iorwerth would be seeing when he goes scouting in the mountains of what we now call Snowdonia in North Wales. He comes to the top of Yr Lliwedd or thereabout (Snowdon horseshoe) and sees a war band approaching. He is doomed, he knows, because he just burned down a stronghold belonging to the leader of those warriors. Yikes! Will he survive?

The way the location can be tilted to show the landscape's three-dimensionality is fascinating to watch--like flying over in an airplane or chopper. My only wish is that the photographs would be current. Most seem to have been taken in late autumn when the ground is dull brownish-grey instead of the beautiful green that Wales can be in summer. Seems to be that way for many other parts of the world I've checked out in Google Earth. When I look at the place I live now--the photograph shows the car I drove two years ago, not the one I own now!

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