Thursday, May 31, 2007
THE RESEARCH TRAIL
Yesterday, I visited several bookstores to sign my brand-new release, AT THE EDGE. This is always a challenge. We call them drive-bys, that he as we go into the bookstore, chat a while, sign our new books or whatever they have in stock, and leave bookmarks. When a book first comes out, not all stores have their deliveries, so this means you have to come back at a later date. I did sign a number of copies of AT THE EDGE.
But on the way to sign books and do a lot of business things, having a "town day," I stopped in the light rain to take some photographs. The "teardrop" shaped camper in this photograph has an interesting history, and is what my hero, Neil Olafson, does for a living, creates these campers. Their origins date back to the 1930s (Neil constructs new ones, however. His are handcrafted and have many custom-made features.). These campers are light, the smallest weighing about 600 pounds. They can come in several different widths and sizes, one small enough to be towed behind a motorcycle. Today, these are still beloved by campers who "rendezvous" together. The alterations to these are so diverse, and plans can be purchased for a build your own. My sister is a "Snowbird," and had a lot of information on RVing.
So Neil, the hero of AT THE EDGE, creates custom-made "teardrop" campers; that left the occupation of the heroine, Claire Brown, an empath who needs quiet and has settled in rural Montana. Claire is also a handcrafter, the designer and creator of high and one-of-a-kind handbags. These handbags also prove to be interesting research, and one of the books I used was BAGS WITH STYLE by Stephanie Kimura.
I used to sew my daughters' clothing, my own, coats, drapes, Barbie clothes, whatever. But I doubt that I will ever sew a handbag. They come all in different sizes with different names, and that allowed a lot of latitude in preparing for something a psychic might touch or see and receive images. I even got to use the word "Matador." To choose the names for the handbags that Claire might create in her brand name, "Claire's Bags," was so much fun. One of the bags is called "Date Night."
So you see the conflict. Neil is going to build a shop in rural Montana to create his "teardrop" campers. Unfortunately for Claire, Neil's shop is going to be located next to her previously very quiet home/studio.
As for the setting, rural Montana, I've driven across long stretches of wheat land in rural Montana, and had some of the feeling of that country. However, this concrete really set up quickly in cold weather? For small questions like that, I called good friends Bill and Doris. I do a lot of interviews like this with all my every book, though I have been to the setting of every one of my stories. There are just things that need to be double checked.
Another element in this trilogy was the psychic link between the triplets, and their mother. Generally, psychic ability is transferred down through a family, and the Aisling triplets' came from an ancient Celtic seer, named Aisling. I was also able to use research of my personal interests, the Vikings.
As for the story, which begins the trilogy of psychic triplets, I interviewed several psychics, plus read an enormous amount of articles. I've come to the conclusion, that psychic ability can morph in all different directions, and some of it can be misleading. However, I am not an expert.
AT THE EDGE is Claire's (the youngest) story, A STRANGERS TOUCH is an April 2008 book, Tempest, the middle-born triplet in the starring role. And I have just finished Leona's story, which ends the trilogy.
Why did I write about three sisters? Because I am the mother of three daughters born three years apart. The Aisling triplets were born three minutes apart, but I had some idea of the interaction of sisters and their birth order. The Aislings' names were chosen with care, to reflect their personality, and their family heritage which would be Celtic and Viking.
The composite of all above makes for a layered story. Each book stands alone, but winds into the other. I hope you'll like the Aislings, and for more on them please visit my website, http://caitlondon.com