Tuesday, May 11, 2010


One of the things I'm enjoying as a writer is how I frequently get surprised by my need to research something. As a reader, I'm familiar with being taken to "whole new worlds," but it happens often when I write as well.

For example, right now I need to know a few things about Prague and a little town called Osinalice in the Czech Republic. I didn't know in advance that I'd need to do this; Prague wasn't in my outline for Hammered, I assure you, but now it's in the book, just a wee bit, and in subsequent books (may there be many), Prague will figure more prominently. 

Thank goodness for the Internet(s). But dang it, now that I've looked at Prague a bit, I want to go there. For now I guess I'll have to live vicariously through my characters.

Perhaps the most research I've had to do to date—aside from years of soaking up mythology from this source or that—is on the nature of iron and its use (or misuse) in fantasy as a foil for magic. The most enjoyable research has been discovering which Irish pub in Arizona has the best fish and chips. (The answer: Rúla Búla.) The coolest experience so far has been to present a real-life detective with a death scene in Hexed and ask her how she'd approach it as a case. She came up with questions/things to investigate I didn't even consider, which illustrated to me how much I would suck at being an evil genius...and also why I'd be awful at writing mysteries.

Prague is my whole new world for today. If anyone's been there and knows where the spooky parts are, give me a holler.


  1. I spent a month in Prague way back in 1997. It's the most beautiful city I have ever seen, and I've seen many. Sadly, I saw it superficially, being only a tourist, so I doubt I could be much help.

  2. Oh wait! I remember something about a Jewish cemetery right in the center, and a tale about it that was the origin of the word Golum. Google that perhaps...

  3. This is part of how I got interested in Iceland :) But I know exactly what you mean, I got blindsided by Aphrodite one day in the middle of a sentence, and lost a good 8 hours to researching everything I could find on her. (Luckily, that just means pulling books off my bookshelf for a refresher course--except for the art.)

  4. Thanks for the heads up on the old cemetery, Ted! And hi Amalia! I need to swing over to your blog and catch up!

  5. You talked to a REAL detective?! That is THE coolest thing I have ever heard in my life! Mysteries are great and a real detective sounds ULTRA COOL! Mr. Hearne I can honestly say I am jealous. -Brendi

  6. I am British and we own a house in Nove Osinalice, which is the next village along. What do you need to know?

  7. What I primarily need to know about Osinalice is the following:
    1) Is there a bed n' breakfast or a diner or someplace a guy could get something to eat? It looks pretty tiny.
    2) What sort of woods are there to the east of Osinalice? (What kind of trees?) Maps show a forested area without too many roads through it, but I'm wondering what it's really like. Thanks!

  8. Yes. there are plenty of hotels/B&Bs in near villages. You could also probably rent a house/flat for the period you are there if you look on the internet. Try something in Tupadly for hotels/B&Bs.

    The Forests have many different trees, mainly pine though. There are huge sandstone rocks there. Also, m,any lookouts from the first and second world war, where they used to ambush the Nazis. There are mountain bike trails through the woods. But watch out for the wild Boar!