I’ve been asked several times how much research I do when I write and I have this terrible knee-jerk response each time of saying, “None. I make up worlds.” Groan. That’s so not true. I do research, it’s just that it’s fun and I guess I don’t think of it as tedious or a task.
In Hidden, I poured over castles in Ireland, looking for the perfect setting for Trynd Castle, Aiesa and Xavior’s home where they raised Jade and her sisters. I found Klyemore Abby that depicted the style I’d already imagined in my head. I also had to figure out the type of stone typically used in the castle’s structure. That’s a tiny bit of detail, but it all matters in the description to make the world come to life.
Even though my novel is a paranormal romance, there are details within that I had to research, adding depth to the world building for sensory detail and creditability. If they’re in the human realm and I haven’t been to that location, I have to find out the climate, plant life, and even some of the animals. Regardless if everything was included, it gave me enough information so I could build a picture to create a sense of being there.
The next book in the series I researched blacksmiths, something I knew nothing about. Pouring over pictures of weaponry from medieval times and how they were made was fascinating. Imagining her home led me to scour pictures of canopy beds, chairs, and different designs for the stone archways or doors. I’d end up captivated until I realized just how much time I’d spent on it. And the landscape? I want to travel ten times more now than I already had. Someday, I’m hoping to be able to add traveling into my research. For now, I use the Internet, books, or talk to people I know who have been to places or done things I need to learn about.
So yes, I do research and tend to get a little too involved in some of it at times. It’s definitely worthwhile to add depth and make the story come alive.
Cursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.
Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.
Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?
Hades kissed his wife, Persephone, one last time before reluctantly relinquishing her above ground, where her mother impatiently waited.
“Behave while I’m gone, Hades.” Persephone traced a pink-kissed nail along her husband’s dark jawline.
He was loathe to shave too often as the rough stubble against her skin excited her. “Six months is ridiculously long,” he murmured against her lush lips. “Find a way to meet me at the meadow.”
Mischief danced in her eyes as she stepped onto the boat which would ferry her along the River Styx, leading her out of the Underworld. “It’s a date,” she purred, blowing her husband a sultry kiss.
That woman slays me. He watched until she was out of sight. Once his bride was gone, his attention returned to his beloved Underworld and the current state it was in.
Hades leapt onto his chariot. A resounding crack split the air as he commanded his four black horses to lead him past boiling lava pits and stalagmites to the deepest, fiery pits of the abyss—Tartarus.
Creatures scampered out of his way. Fallen angels and demons went about their business—lest they draw his anger—as he thundered past. Tormented screams echoed off cavernous walls and pools of fiery despair. His pulse roared in his veins. He reveled at what he was about to see…
The Fates’ curse had begun.
Reining his steeds to a halt, he dismounted, his black boots crunching on a mixture of bones and jagged pieces of rock. Amidst the prisons, the things of nightmares tortured imprisoned souls.
A laugh rumbled up from his gut and rolled out. He threw back his head then ran his hands through his black hair, freeing it from its tie. Pers wasn’t here right now, due to his brother, Zeus’s, acquiescence to Demeter.
Hades ignored the slow burn in his chest at the thought of his wife being gone for six long months and focused on the game of persecuting his brother instead, for he knew a thing or two about Aiesa’s offspring that Zeus did not.
An ear-splitting scream rent the air, snapping Hades out of his thoughts. New souls.
He knew who sent them. Although he benefitted from so many entering his domain, his brother would not be happy.
What a perfect time to pay Zeus a visit.
About the Author
Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden, is the first in the Five Fates Series.