How do you do fantasy research?
Do you actually have to?
Surely it’s all just make-believe?
Intriguing questions, aren’t they?
And we at Libertà didn’t have the answers, so we tagged fantasy and alternate-history author Kate Johnson to tell us how she does it. Being Kate, she gave us explanations with a side-order of slightly weird.
Enjoy the fun!
Kate Johnson’s take on fantasy research, and more
How on earth do you research things that don’t exist?
Well, here’s the thing: you might be writing about vampires or spaceships or magic paperclips, if that’s what your heart desires, but you’ve got to make them believable.
You’ve got to make the reader trust you, and if you get the details wrong, they won’t.
Monday 25th January is Burns Night, celebrating Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Traditionally, Scots and others celebrate with a Burns Supper and many will have already taken place, over the weekend. I believe Sophie (Englishwoman of this parish) may even have been seen at one of them.
Robert Burns (1759-1796) was not only a poet, he was also an exciseman, operating on the borders with England. Hardy smugglers used to cross from England to Scotland via the Solway Firth, because the excisemen would be waiting on the land route to levy their duties. If you could nip across the Firth – by the ford – you could probably avoid duty altogether.
Of course, if you were caught in the Solway quicksands, you might not see Scotland again. Ever.
England is that grey strip across the sands & quicksands of the Solway Firth