I spend a lot of time on research I never use.
Some authors—even many other Fantasy authors—boast meticulous attention to historical detail. I wouldn’t dare because it would be a lie.
I write about wizards, lost princesses, and sorcerous assassins in magical worlds. There isn’t often a need for me to know the name of Queen Victoria’s childhood spaniel or how cigars lost a Civil War battle.
There is, however, a good reason to know what the rigging of a ship is called, the various plates of armor, or the normal layout of a castle fortress. I read books, watch documentaries, and scour websites for thousands of historical facts—I remember maybe 10% and maybe 2% makes it into my books.
Most the research I do never makes it into the books.
As much as I love learning and it helps inform the world I’m creating, I don’t want the story or you—the readers—to get bogged down with details.
Where I differ from historical fiction and some more ambitious Fantasy author is that I never let historical accuracy get in the way of the story. Historically speaking, a young noblewoman of Janir’s rank would never be without a gauntlet of servants.
But that would get in the way of Janir sneaking off with Karile to cause trouble, so it had to go.
For the most part, I let history inspire me the same way other books inspire me.
Nothing is even 75% accurate when it comes to history versus my books. As much as I borrow a detail here, a name there, a floorplan over there, etc., historical research comes out of my books like a Lhasa Apso comes out of the groomer’s—almost unrecognizable.
Maybe you like that. I hope you do, because that’s pretty much all I write.
I believe that is the one thing that all stories—Fantasy or not—should work to get right—people.
People are the only thing that I am determined to make “historically accurate.”
Historically and realistically, we’ve seen that we all have a fallen nature, but we all have the chance to have that nature changed. And we are all at risk of being corrupted, no matter who we are.
A young artist can become a genocidal dictator. A slave dealer can become an abolitionist. The most esteemed visionary can have hidden sins. The most reviled tyrant can be a doting parent.
The good can fall and even the most evilest can reform.
No one person or group is perfect, but no one person or group is beyond redemption. I truly believe that.
You’ll find corruption, redemption, and love—not always romantic—throughout my stories. Someone once told me that’s what every great story is about.