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Monday, November 6, 2017

Research Rabbit Hole Treasures #BloodVice #MondayBlogs

I've always had a love/hate relationship with research. On one hand, it takes time--an indefinite amount of time that makes my OCD side panic when I'm trying to outline every last minute of my 5-year plan. Which I redo every other week. We all have our vices. Don't judge me.

On the other hand, research is magical. I get lost in it (cue OCD-me having a panic attack when I realize my 6-hour writing window has been lost to a research rabbit hole on the history of bloodletting). Still, I love learning new things, and every book, even the most outlandish fiction, requires some degree of research.

Here are a few of my favorite research finds for Blood Vice and how I applied them in the series.

1) Every vampire world must operate by a set of rules. While some may not agree with the Twilight sparkle variety (not to be confused with the My Little Pony) those were the rules of that particular world, and they were, at the very least, original. I lean more heavily toward ancient mythology for my world rules, and when I dug around for the oldest vampire tales, I found a tragically romantic origin story from Greek mythology.

To make a long story short, this Italian fellow named Ambrogio went to see the Oracle of Delphi who gave him a creepy, cryptic message. After which, he fell in love with one of the temple maidens, Selene. They planned to run off together, which didn't bode well for Apollo, who was quite attached to his temple ladies. That's where the first curse comes in with Apollo causing the sun to burn Ambrogio's skin, preventing him from meeting with Selene the next morning. The story goes on to detail how Ambrogio lost his soul to Hades, was then cursed by Artemis so that silver burned him as well, then was finally blessed with immortality and fangs and an anti-climatic (pun totally intended) future with Selene. Read the full myth here: 

I drew from this particular myth to get the basis of my vamps' weaknesses. There are other elements at play, but the primary bits come from this starting point. Sunlight and silver are no-nos. Blood is a necessity for immortality. But mirrors, garlic, crosses, stakes, needing an invitation to get into a home--none of that applies in Blood Vice. Beheading, burning, or extensive trauma to the head or heart are all viable ways to die though, which seems to hold true in most vamp tales I've read.

2) When I set the BATC facility in Denver, I hadn't done any research yet. It just seemed like a good central location. When I finally got around to asking the Google gods if there were any mysterious underground areas in Denver, I can't tell you how thrilled I was to find a heap of conspiracy theories about what's beneath the Denver airport. I swear, it was like fireworks went off in my head. Luckiest research find to date.

3) And then Tom Petty passed away. T-T  I never got to see him and the Heartbreakers live, but my husband did. We were both big fans. Since Blood Vice is being released in "real time" I decided to pay homage to Mr. Petty with a mention of his passing in "Blood in the Water." The bit I included about the memorial vampire walk down Ventura Blvd. was not made up. That actually happened, and I so wish I could have flown out to L.A. to be a part of it.

What kind of rabbit holes have you fallen into lately? Any inspiring research finds?

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