What is my coolest research?

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I’m attempting to ignore the heart-wrenching stuff going on – a family crisis on top of the medical problems that meant I was late posting last month’s post for Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. No real excuse then for evading this post although I’m so depressed I can’t escape to my writing worlds, just into a game world where I can fight spiders and hyenas rather than injustice.

Okay, so what is this month’s optional question?

May 3 Question: What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

That got me thinking about all the different bits of research that I had done for my various books from my debut to novels at the first draft stage. My debut was set against the equestrian world that I worked in as a journalist so there were some minor extra questions that I had to ask or facts to check – but I had to research diabetes and sportspeople, plus PTSD. For other books, there have been how online games are produced, shamanism, Romany customs, and policing in a bilingual country. But weird or cool?



Artist’s concept for a high-altitude, long-duration airship that could be used as a research platform or for commercial purposes. Image credit: Mike Hughes (Eagre Interactive)/Keck Institute for Space Studies


Coolest must be researching the latest developments in airships for Eagle’s Passage, my alternative history set in 2020. Here and there are so many great things happening from Air Cushion Landing systems to NASA’s challenge to produce a high-altitude airship. A high-tech airship called Draken Njal Migisi is the main craft in my novel and I got the chance to project many of today’s design ideas, including one for SOLAR-JETS – engines powered by solar kerosene, which I also use in my post-apocalyptic novel Storms Compass. I still use solar cells as a key component.

And for anyone wondering about my airship’s name, the first word is Norwegian for Dragon – as some longships were called – and for Njal Migisi visit my C is for Cristóbal Colón post in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Mind you, researching the History of Kanata has been cool – and at times weird.


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day. We post our thoughts on our own blogs. We talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

Please visit others in the group and connect with my fellow writers.

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The awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG are Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!


14 thoughts on “What is my coolest research?

    • Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts, Ellen. I suspect that I’m a research addict in the sense that I get tempted to check even stupid details and then disappear down the research rabbit hole. For my Welsh detective, I even researched the best motorbike for her, including colour…and her favourite drink.


    • Great remedy, Liesbet. We are planning to get out as soon as the weather gets warm enough for me in a wheelchair – I feel the cold as much as too much heat. My body’s thermostat is whacked.


  1. You did some interesting research, esp. on airships. I love Pinterest for finding amazing concepts. I hope your stress goes down soon.


  2. Sorry to hear about the family crises, Roland. That always sucks. I hope it will be solved sooner rather than later. And I’m sure the good season will be good for your health. It’s been a long, cold winter.

    So many interting topics you’ve been researching. I’ll probably research PTSD soon, for my post WWI story.
    And airship? Always fascinating 🙂


  3. Thanks, Sarah. The crisis might take a while but more positive than when I posted. Looking forward to the good weather.

    Research is always fascinating, although I fear that I’m now so into Kanata project that my other WIP will suffer. Too many projects distracting me. That will be a post I suspect.


  4. Airships are pretty darn cool. I’ve done some looking into PTSD myself, mostly for the next big book in my series. That and Stockholm syndrome.

    I hope the family and medical crisis resolve themselves.


    • I love airships from the steampunk version to the modern hybrids.

      All the best with your next book, Loni. Don’t know a great deal about Stockholm Syndrome although I’m sure I’ve read about people having it. Patty Hearst?

      Medical looking better, although family crisis may take time to get resolved.


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