There’s a great new anthology coming out at MLR Press on January 24th, 2014 – Big Bone Lick Pack – written by the lovely authors Jambrea Jo Jones, Kendall McKenna and Cherie Noel.
Today Jambrea and Cherie talk about the research the three of them did to get them the in’s and out’s of Big Bone Lick State Park (yes, it’s a real place!), and all the fun stuff they found. They’re also giving away a great prize, so be sure to click on the red Rafflecopter link below to join the fun.
Take it away ladies! 🙂
Thanks for having us here today! (J: It’s a pleasure having you visit!)
Let’s talk about research. I seriously have trouble deciding sometimes if the research or the writing is my favorite part. I dunno. There’s something so wonderfully freeing about finding that perfect bit of intel that makes all the made up fluff and nonsense so very plausible. For me, in this particular story, that moment came when I found a wonderful video online that was all about how foxes have something akin to sonar… that only works when they are facing magnetic north.
How cool is that, right? Well, not really sonar… it’s more a high level tracking system akin to what missiles use to hit their targets. The wily fox actually uses the magnetic field of the earth to plot his trajectory when hunting for his supper under a layer of snow.
Okay. I hear you. What does that have to do with my clutzy fox-shifter? Well, Simon’s only clutzy when he’s distracted. When he can focus, he has laser like precision, and even before he fully understands all the whys and wherefores, he knows that he is at his most accurate when he’s facing true north.
He bumbles and fumbles, and occasionally gropes people in public, but when the chips are down, he can orient himself and take down his prey in a flash. Or, you know, his boyfriends pants. He’s good at that too. LOL.
Fox video: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/north-america/videos/fox-dives-headfirst-into-snow.htm (J: adorable and informative)
Okay, so yes of course there was all the fun of finding out about the places near Big Bone Lick Park, and finding out about the park itself… but my real find? Was an uber cool cemetery nearby… I needed a unique setting for Josiah and Simon’s first official date… and wowza, I struck gold. I found a place that was both a breathtakingly beautiful arboretum and a coolio, kick-ass cemetery. Score. The date practically wrote itself after that. I loved the vaguely macabre, Sinead O’Connor’s Stretched on Your Grave obsessive feel to having a date in a cemetery… in part because well, shifters would have to be a little obsessive, right? And in part because the site was simply breathtaking. The arboretum let me reveal aspects of Josiah’s character which might have been difficult to show in such a short piece otherwise, and taking them into the seven hundred acre arboretum gave them plenty of space to let their wild sides roam free… even whilst so close to the city of Cincinnati.
Spring Gove Cemetery: http://www.springgrove.org/events/arboretum.aspx
I really didn’t do a lot of research. Kendall had a lot of the back stuff already done. She told me about Beaverlick, which is where Kane lives. I did look into different bears because I had never written a bear shifter before. Dov started out as a black bear, but Kendall had him written as a grizzly so I took that and ran with it. I did find out that grizzly bears can be black in color so I kept with Dov’s general shifted appearance.
I know Kendall and I looked up bear attacks to figure out just how Dov might attack and that was interesting and helped with mine and Kendall’s opening scene.
Another thing that I really looked into was the general area. I needed to know what was around Beaverlick. I mean–it’s small town, where would my guy go to find stuff. Dov isn’t a small guy and would need to go shopping, so they had to go to Union which was a bigger city. I looked for places to eat because Kane wanted to give Dov the lay of the land. Google map was my friend for this story.
I think Kendall did most of the fun research finding the neat little things we threaded through the story. The only thing I made up was the auto body shop because I wanted to name it something fun. She found out about the dog being mayor of a town and let me know Beaverlick was around Rabbit Hash. I remember many Facebook messages between the three of us and Kendall shared all kinds of nifty things.
Research is fun and totally helps make stories more real and I enjoy searching for things to help me.
Welcome to the Big Bone Lick Pack: A more friendly and hospitable group of werewolves you’ll never meet! Visit with; ‘Devil Dog & Bad Wolf’, a ‘Big Bad Bear’ and enjoy some ‘Shifty Fox Shenanigans’. Watch yourself, ’round the state park, ’cause we had a grizzly on the loose, just a bit ago. Our brave men and woman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department have everything under control. (Except maybe their own love lives!) But if find yourself needing a doctor, head on down to Rabbit Hash clinic, or St. Elizabeth’s Hospital is just up the road a piece. We hope you enjoy your stay.
Buy it today at MLR Press!
You can find us at:
Click on the Rafflecopter link below to win a Big Bone Lick Tee!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The raffle will be going from the 23rd to the 26th. Good luck!