When I started writing erotic romance, I decided I wanted to write something I knew, not something I would have to research. That was one of the reasons I chose Classic Literature to inspire me. I knew those stories like the back of my hand. What I didn’t realize was how much additional research I would have to do because I used classic stories, nor did I realize the wide variety of topics that would come into play.
After finishing a book, I like to review the bookmarks I have saved of the websites I used to do my research, and with MASQUE coming out in print in just a couple weeks, I decided to take another look at what I researched for it.
Since I used Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” for my inspiration, and since that was published in the mid 1800’s, I had to do some research on that time period, after all, I had 73 ghosts who supposedly died in 1861, so their clothing had to be appropriate. For that I tapped into sites like Women’s Clothing at 1860 http://memorialhall.mass.edu/activities/dressup/1860_woman.html
Poe never said exactly where Prince Prospero’s Abbey was located, so I put it in Nova Scotia, a place I have been and absolutely love. However, I did not visit there in the mid 1800s, so I tapped into sites like The History of Nova Scotia 1860-1869 http://newscotland1398.ca/hist/nshistory10.html
There were other historic facts I needed to know, such as what “magazines” might be in the library of the Abbey and what the police force was like when Synn was shot. For those facts, I found the Toronto Police Service site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Police and Godey’s Lady’s Book http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godey%27s_Lady%27s_Book
But I didn’t simply research historical facts. I also had to research contemporary ones because, after all, the story was set in present day, so that is when the Cape Breton site http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotsandcanada/newscotlandnovascotia/capebreton.asp and Animal fact sheets, came in handy http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/kids/animal-facts/animals.asp?region=ns
Then there was the whole sexual experiences side to the story, and the research I had to do with those. Since each Pleasure Room is a different sexual experience, I had to be sure I knew the full story on each. For example, did you know that when two couples have sex in the same room with their own partners, it’s called a “soft swing”? It is amazing how much information we can find on the world wide web these days and how incredibly helpful it can be. As a writer of erotic romances inspired by the classics, I for one, am grateful for it all.
Be sure to stop by in two weeks when I celebrate the print release of MASQUE. I will be giving away a signed copy of the book and other fun prizes. Hmm, there may even be a Venetian mask available, who knows ;-)
P.S. December 13th only - an ecopy of MASQUE is up for grabs on Lex Valentine’s site! So here’s a bookmark just for you :-) Good luck! http://sunlightsucks.com/2013/12/13/day-15-30-days-of-christmas-2013/