Research Does Not Cost – it Pays!

Hello again readers and apologies for the misquote, I am sure many of you will know the original version.

I am still researching my first novel. As it is about historical crime, research is an absolute must. I still need to visit London and  the Public Records Office and also likely the British Museum to access some vital material. In doing so I  am following in the footsteps of one of my favourite authors, Bram Stoker no less who is famous for his novel Dracula. This novel was very deeply researched by Stoker. It is known that he visited the British Museum, that he visited Whitby, famously the port of arrival in the story and that he was an avid note-taker. Luckily his research papers have survived and indeed are available to buy on Amazon. His actual working notes, located at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia have been used to create a facsimile edition, transcribed and annotated by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller, and published by McFarland. At a price of $65 to purchase, here is a link for you….

We know he took a vacation at Whitby in 1890 and whilst there found the name Dracula in a book by William Wilkinson. Stoker’s Notes include numerous excerpts and jottings from many sources, including information about Transylvania , the land, the people, customs,as well as vampire and werewolf folklore. Stoker also observed people. I have seen a reference to a time he saw a young boy catching and putting flies into a bottle – a possible source of inspiration for his Renfield character? I have also read that another source of inspiration was the Times newspaper where he saw a short article about a man who tried to kill a woman in a most unusual way – by biting her on the neck. The first policeman on the scene was a PC Harker. On the same page was an advert for Clarkes Blood Mixture,a Victorian quack cure that had the bold advertising headline.. THE BLOOD IS LIFE. Ring any bells?

The point I am trying to make here though is that without the extensive research the book would have been impossible to write. It was the research plus the skilful writing of Stoker that made possible an amazing novel that has stood the test of time. I cannot really imagine any writer sitting down and reeling off a novel of any kind without some kind of planning and preparation. That said some writing genres are more demanding than others and probably none so demanding as historical crime. For now I must bide my time for without my final searches my novel cannot be properly written. It is said that “everything comes to him who waits.” I usually dont do patience but this story I am researching and writing requires me to pause. In the meantime here is another link you can follow if you choose…. to Dracula’s homepage no less!!

Note to self – visits to library, visits to location, observe and note people, land, customs, folklore


About bakersfieldlad

July 2015...... I published my first book on Amazon - "Savilles Spinnney". On April 1st 2015 I published my second book - "Arsenic Sally". Christmas Day 2015 I published my third book " Murder Mystery and Mayhem on the Railways 1830-1899. That's 3 books in roughly 18 months. I enjoy researching and see no reason to stop writing. There will be many many more books and while I would love to be taken in by a publisher I am content to make my books available via Amazon. Keep checking my blogs for updates about my upcoming projects......
This entry was posted in cemetery, churchyard, Crime in Nottingham in the 1800s, crime writer, Crime Writing, dead, dead bodies, Dracula, first novel, Framework Knitter, graves, gravestones, Historical crime, Historical Fiction, murder mystery, Murder stories, Nottingham, publicity, publishing, ressurection, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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