Does A Fantasy Author Need to Research?

I have been asked on a several occasions did I actually research for my book and the next books in the series, as this is a work of fantasy? The answer is a resounding YES! I wanted to have as much real history and real names of places from Scotland and Ireland as I could place in a mystical realm called Rienfield an the two kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin. I felt by adding these “real” elements it would give the stories an authentic feel, and a unique and memorable journey for the readers. By researching real villages and towns from both Scotland and Ireland and what they were known for in the 12th to the 15th centuries and incorporating that into the stories and the characters’ lives, it gave the the world a much richer feel and vibrancy I feel would be absent if I hadn’t used this. I also did extensive research on the family and social dynamics of the people of these regions at the time. What I discovered was both fascinating and eye opening. Not everyone in these time periods lived in filth and yes people did indeed bathe. Fragrant herbs and spices were used in soaps for not only their rich scents but their healing properties as well. Especially the use of lavender and rosemary. Soap making most often became a town or village project, and done around the time livestock such as swine or cattle were butchered, so that the rich fat of the animals could be utilized. Family ties were most important, so socializing with relatives and neighbors was done often and encouraged. Often accompanied by feasting on seasonal produce as well as dancing and game playing.
Yes, the parents in those days were often strict but the brutality of children and women was still not something that was encouraged or even looked upon favorably. Though this did happen at times, sadly to this day it still does. The men of Scotland and Ireland at that time were known as “lovers and romantics”. And well they should have been called thus, as some of the most beautiful and romantic love poems and wedding vows come from these regions and are still used today in traditional Scottish and Irish wedding ceremonies. Here is a beautiful example of such a tradition. In a old Irish custom which dates back to the 12th century, the couple after reciting their vows to each other while hands being bound together, (hand fasting) would face the families and guest and recite The “Vow of Unity” together. It went this way,
“We swear by peace and love to stand, heart to heart and hand in hand. Mark O’ LORD, and hear us now, confirming this our sacred vow,” truly lovely. Many couples are bring this back to their traditional wedding ceremonies. I also loved researching the beautiful Gaelic language which I used and continue to use throughout my stories. So mo chairde daor, yes I do indeed do research.

3 thoughts on “Does A Fantasy Author Need to Research?

  1. Having a huge issue with Amazon. Over hundred dollars from my bank account. Soooo they won’t give me my book. My daughter and I are crying about it. So as soon as this is settled. I will devour this book…😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

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