Yes, I write urban fantasy books about an archaeologist who is also a witch. My heroine is often accompanied by a smarty-pants owl, the mythical trickster spirit Coyote, and a spectral blue beaver who’s made out of water. She has adventures, looks for magical relics, and gets in many laugh-out-loud funny situations.
That doesn’t mean I don’t research for my books. I do loads of research! I hunt through legends and myths, use reference books on magic, and plot some of my novels using Google Earth. Yes, I have maps, and I measure distances and look around the places that I write about. I write fantasy – but I need to base it in reality.
That’s not saying I don’t take some artistic license, though. I sometimes change the names of places, but there is always a thread of reality that runs through my books. With Legendary Magic, I spent a long time reading the Arthurian legends and researching the monks of the Cistercian order. I read the Native American legends (that’s where Coyote came from), and I take Dr. Arienne Cerasola around the world, virtually.
My books need to have a framework that makes sense to me because I love history. I want you to have fun, but I’d also like to share a little bit of information about a legend or a time in history. Yes, Arienne looks at a lot of dead monks, but that’s because there’s so much history there. So when I launch Jealous Magic, I’ll update my list of sources (because there are many) – for now, enjoy the links in the sidebar.