From the Editor:
Okay, I admit it. I love doing
research. Give me half a chance (or half a night) and I'll throw
myself into finding answers on anything that happens to catch my attention.
Sometimes it's a wonder that I get any actual writing done, especially since
I have a rather large private library of my own, just a few steps away.
That's more dangerous for a writer than some people might realize.
Yes, I can find answers to a lot of things without ever leaving my house.
But it is a distraction as well -- a distraction that I love.
This last year, while browsing at
the local Friends of the Library book sale, I came across a huge set of
books, Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. For the last few years I
had been making a few trips to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska where
I would take hundreds of pictures of creatures I couldn't name. I
wanted to know and understand them all. The books -- almost all of the
set, and I later found the rest -- was perfect. I started reading
about Lower Animals and I'm now up to Mollusks, only regretting that I don't
have as much time to devote to it as I would like. Fishes are next!
So, do I need to know this material?
Is it a distraction when I should be working?
Yes, I needed to know it, and yes it
is a distraction sometimes. However, one of the sf novels I recently
sold is about a world with a large ocean. The life there includes
animals imported from earth. One of the things the publisher liked was
my realistic look at the ocean, and wanted more material based on that part
of the story.
I need to get to that book on fishes
real soon now.
Oh, and the two new books on
mythology for the other new novel I'm going to start. And the
wonderful book Michael Grant books I picked up on Roman and Greek
Yes, sometimes it is a wonder I get
any writing done.
But it's a good life. And
there's so much left to learn!