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Novel Research

Have I mentioned that I like travel, like photography, love writing? So, what could be better than traipsing off to a foreign land—like Ireland—with camera in hand and story idea in mind?

Here’s a gallery of photographs taken for research purposes.

Loved the old fellas in the pubs! Barely understood this gent’s accent, and at this point in our conversation he was so agitated by the dire state of the Irish language (in danger of extinction) that he wobbled off his bar stool. I memorialize garrulous pub fellas in WHISPERS IN THE MIST (County Clare Mystery #2).
For some reason, these silage bundles fascinated me. Little did I know they’d make an appearance in WHISPERS IN THE MIST also.
KILMOON (County Clare Mystery #1) contains a few hospital scenes. I spent an afternoon skulking around the County Clare regional hospital. This waiting room cracked me up—what’s with the Pepto Bismol-colored walls?—and it appears as is in the novel.
Novel research, I swear! (The young fellas are as entertaining as the old fellas.)
This image is a memory aid, no more, no less. I shot dozens of photos at this site. It appealed to me, and the spark remained long enough for Kilmoon Church to become one of my inspirations for KILMOON. Though a peaceful spot, I rendered it brooding in the novel.
Believe it or not, the butcher shops complete with odors and obscure meat cuts fascinated me in the same way as the silage bundles—who knows why? A few years after I took this photo, I found myself including a butcher shop scene in “Paddy O’Grady’s Thigh” for the TWO OF THE DEADLIEST anthology.
More novel research, I swear! (You never know, I might have a character who looks just like this young fella.)
Most often, I snap shots of the typical scenes. They’re as important as the fascinating bits, actually.
Another typical scene. I shot this photo because the steely sky captured my attention, and I wanted to remember the look of it hovering over an otherwise sunny scene.
This is the Burren, a most unusual nature reserve. To me, it resembled an enormous petrified brain rising out of the earth. The Burren features prominently in a novel I wrote that will probably never see the light of day.