Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop!
Today’s question is: What is the strangest bit of information you’ve run across while doing research for a story? Or maybe the strangest word?
And remember to pay a visit to my fellow writers to see what they have come up with. You can find their works here!
In writing Chasing Shadows and its follow up As The Crow Flies, I’ve been fortunate to not need to do much research. One of the beauties of steampunk is it isn’t an era or period of history that actually existed. And as such, none of the creations, technology or weapons necessarily have to have existed. A great many are immediately recognisable but are not real. Steampunk takes us down another fork in history, or to quote the late Terry Pratchett – down a different trouser leg of time. Steampunk is very much rooted in Victoriana. The clothes, the aesthetics, to some extent the technology is very Victorian. But it is also as though those aesthetics persisted throughout time and that all technological advancements are derived from and dependent on steam power.
When I settled on the initial idea for Chasing Shadows my wife bought me an encyclopedia of all things steampunk. It was a fantastic resource to solidify the aesthetics in my mind, along with researching imagery online to get the look sorted in my mind. But that was as far as it went for Chasing Shadows.
That being said, Chasing Shadows wasn’t my first attempt at writing. That was a historical fiction piece about Jack the Ripper. Now that led to some interesting search results. It’s an innevitability when you are looking at the specifics regarding a serial killer. How he killed, who he killed, when, where, what weapons were used, the injuries inflicted. I am pretty sure it would be a strange read to see my search logs back then. There were some pretty dark search results that made for fascinating reading.