For The Silver Sword, of course I had to find out everything I could about life in pre-printing press days, Bohemia, Jon Huss, and the conflict in the Catholic church. Fortunately, I had already done a lot of research on medieval times, so I knew about lifestyle, clothing, housing, etc. I was fortunate because many manuscripts still exist from that period. In fact, the scenes of Hus’s trial and martyrdom are taken directly from transcripts.
For The Golden Cross, I had to learn about sailing, art, and the Dutch settlers. I still can’t draw stick men, but it was fun learning about the artistic process.
The Velvet Shadow nearly overwhelmed me with research only because there is SO much material available. Entire thick volumes have been written about individual battles and generals! So I concentrated on the battles that involve Flanna, my protagonist, and did quite a bit of research on the women who went to war in real life.
And for the final book, The Emerald Isle, I went to Ireland in search of a plot. I knew Cahira’s story would be easy because all I had to do was insert her into the history of the 1200s–the Irish kings were frequently at war with one another. But Kathleen? What jobs are denied to a twenty-first century woman? How could I make her fit into the scheme her ancestors had created? Fortunately, while staying on the Finn Family farm, I figured it out.
Lovely land, that. I could live there.