Researching for the "Real World" vs Fantasy
In switching from fantasy to romance, there have been a few elements that surprised me a little.
One is the type of research I've been doing.
Even when researching for a fantasy novel, I tend to lean on information from our own world. When writing The Mist-Torn Witches series, I could have made up my own names for all the herbs and the manner in which salves and medicines were created/mixed. But I felt it would ring more true, even in fantasy, to lean our own medieval history. Many historians agree that medieval monks knew a good deal more about healing than physicians of the era. This book, Brother Cadfael's Herb Garden, proved indispensible. It's well laid out, and it covers herbs from A-Z.
But when it comes to many elements of a fantasy novel, the writer needs to depend upon his/her own imagination.
So... I recently decided to try my hand at romance novels. For the first book, Alone with a Soldier, I found myself researching a good deal about American soldiers returning from Afghanistan. Some of that was tough to read.
I also did some research on the types of training that mechanics working on new cars need to undergo in contemporary America--as the work they do now is quite different from what my father and grandfather did.
It has been interesting.