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Annette “Malachite” Blair
On Researching her Historical Romances
I find that my onsite research not only gives me locations to use in my books but situations as well. As I was researching Unforgettable Rogue in St. Albans, Hertz, aka Hertfordshire, England, I found the Roman landmarks fascinating. I was in awe of the roman wall behind Watling House where I stayed, the amphitheater between there and the town clock, and the Verulamium Museum of Roman artifacts. I learned from the owners of Watling house, The Brothers of the Sacred Heart, for whom I worked here in the states, that when they built their school, St. Columba’s College, they found a small Roman bust, which can now be seen in the museum. These all became pieces of information which became key to the mystery of Unforgettable Rogue. Bryce and Alexandra found many Roman artifacts as children, years before their marriage of convenience, which played a key role in their story.
My single most memorable research adventure happened the day a buggy tour driver handed me the reins of his team. “You know so much, you drive,” he said, in response to my question of how the braided reins felt in his hands. There were no other tourists at the Ohio Amish Farm that day, so I drove the Amish buggy everywhere, even over a wooden hanging bridge, stream below, a task I nearly failed. The old man folded his arms and let me get that horse backed up so the front passenger wheel would no longer hang suspended over the stream, and we wouldn’t all get dunked. Scary but successful, it was, getting free then taking that turn correctly. This came in handy when in Butterfly Garden, Sara’s buggy gets stuck, while danger lurks. I will never be able to thank that chuckling old Amishman enough for his faith in me. Maybe he was just toying with me. Either way, he talked about his family and his life while I drove, a blessing of information and experience.
You can find the reviews and awards from both books at www.annetteblair.com