Researching your setting

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Today’s guest post is part of the From Australia With Love blog tour, and is by YA urban fantasy and fantasy author, K. A. Last! There’s also a giveaway as part of the tour, which you can enter HERE!

Fall For Me, the first book in the Tate Chronicles, is set in Australia. It’s all fictional, but the places are based on real towns. Writing about them was easy, because I’d been there, and seen what they were like with my own eyes. When it came to writing Sacrifice, I was a little out of my comfort zone. I wanted to tell the story of how Grace and Seth got to where they are in Fall For Me, but to do that I had to go back to England in the 1600s. Yikes! I’ve never been to England, and obviously not in the 1600s.

That is where the research came in.

My knowledge of England was limited to what little I soaked up in school, what I’ve seen on TV, and perhaps what people have told me during social discussions. In short, it didn’t add up to much. So, I devoured everything I could about the English countryside, the people, the castles, events of 1642 and so on. My eyes went blurry from scouring through web article after article, until I was confident I knew enough to sound like I knew what I was talking about. I even learnt a few things along the way.

Nothing can beat visiting a place and seeing it with your own eyes, but just because you haven’t been somewhere doesn’t mean you can’t write about it. Even though I have never been to England, I thought I did a pretty good job of building a convincing setting based on the research I’d done. At the end of the day, I write fiction. My stories are my interpretation of all sorts of factors melded together, and they draw from all different types of resources and research.

A great example of writing about somewhere you’ve never been is Heaven. Things such as religious beliefs, what we’ve seen in movies, or read in books, will influence our own personal depiction of the afterlife. In Sacrifice, my two MCs are angels, so Heaven plays a pretty big role in their lives. My Heaven research consisted mainly of staring at paintings and artworks for a long time. This made me happy, and really excited to write about Heaven. I love art, and I found so many pieces inspirational.

When Sacrifice was close to release, I had someone tell me that my depiction of Heaven was the most ridiculous she’d ever read. I took it with a grain of salt, because who is to say I’m wrong? Then I had three other people tell me it was fresh, and new, and one even said it was “the best description of the great above I’ve ever read”.

Research is an important step in the writing of any book, but we have to remember that some things can’t be researched as thoroughly as others. In the end, when we build the worlds within out stories, we have to go with what we think works best.


Title: Sacrifice – A Fall For Me Prequel (The Tate Chronicles #0.5)
Author: K. A. Last
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: May 24th 2013
Number of pages: Paperback – 114
Word Count: 23,000
Formats available: eBook and paperback
Cover Artist: KILA Designs
Book Trailer:
Purchase Link Amazon eBook:
Purchase Link Amazon Paperback:
Purchase Link iBooks:

Book Blurb:

Seth’s heart is breaking. He knows his decision will hurt the one person he keeps breathing for, but he can’t take it anymore. He can’t be near Grace knowing she will always be just out of reach.

Grace is oblivious to Seth’s turmoil. She loves him unconditionally, but not in the way he wants. They both know that in Heaven physical love is forbidden, and to break the rules is to defy everything they’ve ever been taught.

When Grace and Seth are sent on a mission to save a young mother and her unborn child, Grace must face the fact that Seth won’t be returning home. She doesn’t understand Seth’s decision and hates him for it. But what neither of them realise is how big a part that single decision will play in shaping their entire future.

What would you sacrifice for the one you love?

About the author:

KALast_HeadshotFINAL_LRK. A. Last was born in Subiaco, Western Australia, and moved to Sydney with her parents and older brother when she was eight. Artistic and creative by nature, she studied Graphic Design and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. After marrying her high school sweetheart, she concentrated on her career before settling into family life. Blessed with a vivid imagination, she began writing to let off creative steam, and fell in love with it. K. A. Last is currently studying her Bachelor of Arts at Charles Sturt University, with a major in English, and minors in Children’s Literature, Art History, and Visual Culture. She resides in a peaceful, leafy suburb north of Sydney with her husband, their two children, a rabbit named Twitch, and a guinea pig called Squeak.

You can find her at her website, or on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or Amazon.

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