Monday, May 23, 2011

Random things I've learned while researching Hunters and Hunted

The cool thing about writing is that I'm always learning something new--whether I want to or not. This is because my characters have much more interesting lives than I do. They travel around, have talents, hobbies, stuff like that.

I'm working on a really cool book called Hunters and Hunted. In it, my character goes to Antarctica, Boston, Egypt, and England. I was actually planning a trip to Egypt, because I've always wanted to go and this seemed like the perfect excuse.

But yeah, now there's all that social unrest.

So once again it's me and a bunch of books and the internet. But here are some cool things I've learned so far:

Ramesses the Great had red hair. How cool is that? He had something in common with Henry the Eighth--besides the fact that they both had a lot of wives. Ramesses had over a hundred children. Henry had what? Just Elizabeth? (I'm not researching the Middle Ages right now, so I don't know.)Still,

You have to fight a lot of wars to be considered "the Great". Ramesses the Second (Of Moses fame) had the title and so did Alexander. Everybody else is just, you know, So-So.

There are approximately a ka-jillion species of beetles on the earth. Some scarabs will fly for up to ten miles to find their favorite kind of poop to eat. The ancient Egyptians thought that all scarabs were male. Can you blame them? I mean, would you expect girl beetles to eat poop? I bet scarabs also have burping contests and scratch themselves in public.

Paul Revere didn't actually ride through the streets of Boston yelling, "The British are coming!" It would have been very foolish if he had, as most of the people at the time considered themselves to be British.

Things I still need to research:

How long Boston blocks are. I'm not sure if they're really short like New York blocks or really long like Arizona ones.

If there are surveillance cameras in the Oxford libraries.

What the security is like at the Great Pyramids (Oh, that's another way you can be great: be bigger than all the other pyramids)and the Valley of the Kings. Do they have security guards patrolling the area?

If you happen to know any of these facts, please let me know.


lauren said...

Ugh, gross. I hate bugs... and kind. Not just beetles.

Annette Lyon said...

No answers. I just want to read the book.

Ask Michele Holmes or Julie Wright your Boston questions; they've both researched it and written books set there.

Anonymous said...

I don't have answers either. But I do have a question. What happened to Writers in Heels? It takes me to a hosting web site.

Botterfly Girl said...

Henry eighth was the father of Bloody Mary ( her nickname of course) with his first wife Catherine of Spain. His second wife Anne was pregnant with Elizabeth when he married her( he was hoping the baby would be a boy). The third woman he married, Anne's lady in waiting, Jane, only days later, who bore him a son. Edward was generally sick though and didn't outlive his father by much.....
I love royalty, and most of that was off the top of my head

Anonymous said...

If Rick Riordan's newest book is acurate, then yes, they do have security :)

Melanie Jacobson said...

Okay, I kind of answered this on Twitter but yes, they do have armed guards. They use submachine guns. The soldiers wear white with red berets and their guns are obvious but a lot of them are plainclothes and you only find out accidentally (like I did) that they're packing little machine guns in the back waistbands of their pants under their sport coats. The guards are all pretty stoic. The only time one of them said something to me was when I tried to take a picture of a guard with his gun and then they made me put my camera away. They don't really those images out and about, I guess.

Deborah Julene said...

I was lucky enough to visit Egypt 2 years ago.
The pyramids didn't have any big security (as far as I know). I didn't go inside of one because I heard it was just crouching in a long, dark tunnel, but they probably had security inside (or at least tour guides)
They don't really need to worry about security guards because it's just super heavy beat up rock that no one could do anything with. My brother who was 5 at the time climbed up the pyramid until my mom told him to come down.

Much worse than security guards are the vendors. They will go up to you and FOLLOW YOU AROUND until they're able to sell you lots of expensive stuff that was made in CHINA and will break in a week.

I hope you're able to use this information somehow!

Must Love Books said...

Henry VIII had at least 6 children. Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward were all from different wives of Henry's. Then he had at least 3 known "bastard" children with other women. One was from someone who worked for Henry and two were from a mistress, Mary, who was Anne B's younger sister.

Janette Rallison said...

Okay that stuff about Henry is just creepy, as per usual with kings. Although I guess not any more creepy than my ancestor--the evil King John of Robin Hood fame. He married a 13-year-old girl, and had a reputation of sleeping with his subjects' wives. Not Prince Charming material.

Janette Rallison said...

Oh, and thank you Annette, Melanie, and Deb for your research help.

I had no idea writersinheels was down. (Or as I sometimes called it: writer sin heels, which aren't at all comfortable but which look great.)

I'll have to ask the other writers.

megs said...

I've recently been to Boston and the city blocks were relatively small. It makes sense considering it's an old city. Don't let that stop you from going there for research purposes though--Boston was super fun and I liked it much better than NYC.

Janette Rallison said...

Hmmm. I bet Boston in the summer would be nice . . .

BOOTY said...

I was going to comment on Henry's children, but the others beat me to it. This sounds like a highly interesting book, with all of the locations.

Paul Revere didn't actually ride through the streets of Boston at all, he and two other men were waiting across the river outside of town, and began their ride when they saw the signal from the church steeple. At that time, the river was the city boundary. Boston has now grown to include not only the river, but Lexington and Concord both, which were separate towns in 1776.

Also, if you're descended from Robin Hood's King John, then we are related.

A M Jenner

Admiral Lily said...

I can't answer any of your questions but it sounds like it'll be very interesting. :D

Shelby said...

King Henry was a pig. But Queen Elizabeth was a really good queen (i think). What is Hunters and Hunted about? I really like your books! Espesially 'Its a Mall World'

Breanna said...

This sounds like it is going to be exciting book; I can't wait to read it. :) I know that a lot of people have commented on Henry VIII already, but I couldn't resist (I'm a history major). Henry's son Edward is the prince from the Prince and the Pauper. The whole switching places thing never happened, though.
Random fact: There was another English king known as "The Great." He was the only English king to receive that title: Alfred the Great. It sounds like he did a lot of amazing things, but here is just two of them: He was king from about 871- 899AD. He held off a viking invasion and started to retake land that had already been conquered. He also is known as the "Father of the English Navy."
How did you find out that you were descended from King John?

Breanna said...

I think Queen Elizabeth may have been an okay queen, but is really just depends on your opinion. Something she did that I didn't like was she basically made being a Catholic priest illegal.
Ironically, Henry was basically a good king besides all the things he did with his wives and such. He was the "Father of the Modern English Navy" and he introduced the use of cannons on ships.

Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury said...

Went to Egypt in December of 2007 and there was security on our bus (as well as a police escort following behind our bus). There were soldiers (or so they seemed) at the pyramids, and they kept the camel-ride people from harassing the tourists, at least near the busses.

I was able to go down into the second largest pyramid. The way in from the entrance is a ladder/ramp that is quite steep and the ceiling is quite low, so I decided to go down backwards rather than try to lean back and go down forwards--worked very well. There was a long tunnel at the end of the ladder/ramp and then a huge room (bigger than a typical LDS chapel or multipurpose room), with no ventilation so I didn't stay long.

Won't comment on Henry VIII or Paul Revere's ride, because they've been covered very well.