How long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Being a writer of fantasy and science fiction, I don’t research before starting a book. But I did a great deal of research during the writing of my fantasy series, Braided Dimensions. I wanted the details of medieval time to be accurate, while blending with what was possible if magic were present. That’s what, I think, makes it feel grounded, so the reader can feel fully in the story, magic and all.

Researching ancient Germanic, Welsh, and Norwegian societies, then shaping scenes around what I learned—names and terminology, dwellings, clothing, tools—and adding in the magical powers was thrilling.

It’s very different writing science fiction. My concerns now have become what is biologically or physiologically possible in designing worlds that are extremely different from earth. Commitment to keeping accuracy while blending in magic perhaps honors nature while embracing magic.

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