RESEARCHING EXOTIC ROMANCE
USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
The most important thing in any genre is -- write well.
Your readers will forgive errors if the story is gripping enough. Beyond that, keep your tone true to the era. Readers will forgive you if you use a phaeton before they existed, but saying things like -- "Too right, dude!" really jar.
My best research secrets are:
Chinese cultural fairy tales,
Buddhist morality plays,
Chinese judicial cases,
ghost/spirit stories. (Fox spirits are extremely interesting!)
Where do I go for research?
The Internet for geography and historical detail questions.
For fairy tales, I have a zillion Chinese books bought in China and/or Hong Kong. Some are better than others, but every Asian area has their own unique set of fairy tales. I have books from Cambodia, Viet Nam, China--north, south, and east, plus urban legends from Hong Kong.
Instructional story--I am very leery of answers from e-mail loops, etc. I have noticed a number of times when an answer was posted on line that was incorrect. Know who your sources are.
Pet peeves -- Just because you know something doesn't mean you have to include it in your story. Beware of having someone read your book and say: your research is showing.
People read romances for the emotional content, not for Instructions on how to correctly lace up a corset.
Cornered Tigress, Jan 2007
Shards of Crimson -- anthology, Jan 2007
Tempted Tigress, June 2007