|Photobombed by my toes...|
These are the main print books I used as reference and research in writing Cover Him With Darkness. Note that the Bible is the King James version (copyright-free for quotations, yay!).
As a novel set in a foreign country it presented me with some interesting challenges!
Books about Montenegro are actually in pretty short supply, but I thoroughly recommend travel guides of the more detailed warts-and-all kind (Bradt, Rough Guides) as a starting point for any writer using a foreign setting.
Some of my research material can't appear in this photo because it's on my e-reader. Which is definitely the cheaper option.
- The Book of Enoch - an apocryphal text written about the 1st Century, translated into English in 1917. Batshit-crazy as these things are, but perfect for what I needed. The fundamental research text for this novel.
- The Orthodox Way (theology, prayers, doctrine) - an absolute essential as far as I was concerned.
- Satan: a biography - a backup to the Stanford book pictured above.
- Through the Lands of the Serb - a travelogue by Edith Durham, an intrepid and unflappable Englishwoman writing in 1904, full of colourful incident and just pure entertainment.
- The Land of the Black Mountain: the adventures of two Englishmen in Montenegro, 1903.
And there was Youtube - for footage of Serbian Orthodox religious ceremonies (very musical) - and of course Wikipedia. Good grief, what would I have done without Wikipedia?
Say I'm musing, "Okay, so this priest is going to cite some historical incident of man's inhumanity to man ... If he was British he'd certainly use Auschwitz as the obvious example. But he's not British or American, he's Serbian. What's he likely to think of first?" And lo, a swift Google search and I have my answer - though ignorance might be bliss in that case.
And of course I went to Montenegro for a few days. Okay, so strictly speaking this changed maybe 500 words of the book. It's not like there's room for huge swathes of landscape description in a modern genre novel: that sort of thing just isn't wanted nowadays. But goddamn, I want to get things right. I want to be able to picture things accurately when I write. Every word counts.
'Technically right' is the best kind of right ;-)
And yeah, I know there will still be errors. It's embarrassing me already.