I have spent this past week reading a variety of works (paper and digital) on the attitude toward those suspected of witchcraft, the reactions to such attitudes, the 'world' view as well as various illness and plagues. I've done much in the past in terms of research with regard to medieval medicine but I had a particular focus for Birthright.
A character who was briefly mentioned in Bloodlines and who I had always intended turning up in Birthright has now found her legitimate reason for entry into this story (and, no, she's not one of the witches!). This came about because of time (see previous post) and me asking the 'how?' or 'why?' or 'what if?' questions about her.
I did a test run by a couple of 'the babes' today and got the thumbs up from them.
As to the babes, it's been a funny year for me and them with regard to this trilogy: I don't teach them this year, they are seniors and terribly, terribly busy and three of them are no longer at the school. Also, I've been too shy to show them what I've written because I know that they will be very honest and I don't feel confident in myself at the moment.
However, before the world gets to see Birthright, all the babes will get their hands on a copy of the first draft at the same time as my publisher and my agent. Then, I shall run away and hide under the bed while I wait for all of their (totally justified and respected) responses. Oh, and the eldest gets to read through it before even then - even harsher critiquing.
I miss them. I miss others also who I used to talk to all the time about these characters. Not having that constant (usually daily) discussion has slowed down my mojo a bit. But then, it's been better to be slower because I have dug deeper and not rushed and therefore not overlooked so many potentialities.
This week, therefore, has been invigorating what with the grant and catching up with some of the girls and putting two and two and then four and six together that I am so ready for my weekend away.
Bring on solitude, Naseby and a countryside plagued with disease and evil!