I do a lot of research, both for my primary job and for my writing. I've completed a novel, which required boatloads of research and, I admit, it was very satisfying when it came to the end. Now I want to begin a new novel. I already know what it's going to be about, but I need to do research.
Like my first completed novel, this one will be historical fantasy taking place in Medieval West Africa. I like to keep the historical facts as 'factual' as possible and I prefer the fantasy to be as close to reality as manageable.
However, the very idea of researching my subject matter has me cringing. Researching for Queen of Zazzau was a massive undertaking--2 years of searching, buying archeological/historical books, journals, articles. Given the dearth of written history in W. Africa, it was very difficult to find the information that I sought. It was, metaphorically, back-breaking labor.
Now, I know I have to begin again. My research will take me into a culture that is very far removed from the Hausa culture of my first novel. And, truth be told, I really hate relying on the historical articles written by Europeans. They often got so many things wrong. I once read an historical article that said the people of the Niger Delta were salt deficient, because the salt was found in the North, and we did not have access to it. We most certainly did have access to salt, and still use it to cook. It is called 'native salt' and is found right there in the delta.
But I digress.
I need to start researching my second novel and I'm psyching myself out before I even begin. I need some vibes of support from you, my 4 faithful readers. Send me some mental encouragement.
Okay, I'm off. To begin Day 1 of background research.
Wish me luck!