February 21st, 2006

Researching the Netherworld

I'm now up to my ectoplasm in the rewrite on Netherworld. The good news: I'm really happy with the first draft, and it needs very little rewriting on the artistic end. The bad news: Well...there is none! Sure, I've got a ton of research still in front of me, but I'm actually one of those nutcases who really loves digging for obscure facts. The first quarter of the book is set in London and Derby in late 1879, and I can now tell you what was the best, ritziest restaurant there at the time (the Pall Mall Restaurant), where was the display of the first electric lights (the Gaiety Theatre on the Strand), what the literacy rate was like (thanks to the Education Act of 1870 it was superb, even among the working classes), or how many servants a wealthy single person in London might have possessed (at least four!).

The second quarter of the book is titled "The Eastern World", and this is where I get to really dig: I need to find out things like what Calcutta was like in 1879, how long it would have taken to get there from London, and just how much the average British citizen really knew about the opium trade to China. As you might imagine, working in L.A.'s best used bookstore doesn't exactly hinder this process...but I still expect to make a few trips to the downtown library (oh no, don't make me go there...grin).

Oh, and check out the new "Weird Photo" over at lisamorton.com. More insufferable cat weird cuteness.

Newsflash!

Just scored my first sale of the year:

My story "The Last Resort" will be appearing in Hot Blood 13, out later this year from Kensington. Thanks, Jeff and Mike!