Monday, October 06, 2008

Research

‘Write about what you know’ the saying goes, so the mother of my MC is a university lecturer in the subject of my first degree (classics). As well as being a classicist, if I refine the character’s special interest, it enhances the growing symbolism appearing, quite of its own accord, throughout the story.

Classics, it’s perfect. I studied it at, in the words of Edmund Blackadder, “one of the three great universities… Oxford; Cambridge; Hull…” One tiny problem is that all my textbooks are currently residing 6,000 miles away in the attic of our house in the UK. But, there is another wee problem. I’m sure I’ve told you this before, Husband says I know so little about the subject that I did my first degree in, that really, I’m obliged to give my certificate back to the university.

So I got to thinking some more. One of our cohort went on with his study and is still an academic of the subject. Oh so, straightforward: a little bit of googling and I found an email address for him at a British university. I’m not sure … he won’t mind the twenty year break since asking him for help with my Latin…

Not a nanosecond went by and I got a bounce-back from Mailer-Daemon. Who the hell is Mailer Daemon anyway? And how did he know so quickly that clever friend from many years ago is no longer at said university?

Well, I checked, but Facebook, Friends Reunited etc isn’t his thing, but he was listed on the university alumni site – they will forward my message to him. But they may think he’s at the useless email address too. And how long will it take? Oh well, it’s gone now, so let’s see. There’s always his publisher too. I suppose I should try that next.

Next on the list of people to contact, is clever brother who’s a doctor. I’ve only just discovered the god complex of writing. I don’t feel it with all writing because crap stuff happens in books to nice people. However, when I’m killing someone off – even before the story starts, I take great delight in how I kill the not so nice characters off.

Finally, I’ve got a contact from my sister for someone who deals in secondhand books… but that’s written on the back of an envelope currently residing somewhere in my paper mountain: hmmm that could take some time to find too.

5 comments:

Debs said...

I hope you manage to make contact somehow.

JJ said...

Thanks Debs, I'm holding my breath...

L-Plate Author said...

Eek JJ, my book has a lot of domestic abuse in it, lord knows where that has come from. It must be that bloody angel sitting on my shoulder again...x

PS New word count stands at 489!

Jon M said...

Don't know who Mailer daemon is but I'd steer clear, sounds dodgy! Go for that paper mountain!

JJ said...

LPlate, well as it transpires I don't remember anything I learnt at University!

Jon, I think Mailer Daemon sounds like a great evil character for a story. Yeah, uhm, paper mountain hasn't been excavated yet.