Saturday, February 11, 2012

Guest Post: Research and Intuition by Resa Nelson

Hello Everyone!

So you all know I am focused on school right now, which is why I havent posted a lot; however, I must stick to my committments. I promised this author that I would participate in her blog tour, and participate I shall. Lets welcome Resa Nelson, author of The Dragonslayer's Sword (Dragon Slayer Series #1) and The Iron Maiden (Dragon Slayer Series #2).

"When writing my 4-book Dragonslayer series, I finished most of my research before and while I wrote Book 1, and I drew upon all the research I'd already done while writing the other three books.  However, my writing is tied very closely to my intuition, which guides me a lot when I'm doing research.

My intuition convinced me to take a trip to England to attend a weapons seminar while I was writing Book 1 (The Dragonslayer's Sword).  So many things happened at the seminar that it ended up being a huge influence on Book 1 and the entire series.  I got the idea for the book's ending at the seminar.  As I've written about earlier during this blog tour, I also had an experience at the seminar that helped me figure out exactly how a dragonslayer in my fantasy world kills a dragon.  And bits and pieces of research I'd already done came crashing together in my head when I was attending the seminar – I think the environment turned out to be precisely what I needed to pull all the puzzle pieces in my head together and make sense of them.

Typically, my intuition whispers softly in my ear.  It speaks gently and very quietly to me.  This happened on a regular basis while I wrote Books 1, 2, and 3 – except for the when my intuition wanted me to go to England for the weapons seminar, and then it shouted at me for days until I gave in.  Of course, my intuition was 100% right.  But several months ago, while writing Book 4 in my Dragonslayer series, my intuition shouted at me again.

Writing Book 4 turned out to be much more difficult than I'd anticipated for very odd reasons.  I dragged my feet when it came to sitting down and writing it, which is extremely unusual for me – I love the act of writing and get cranky if I don't do it often enough.  Ultimately, I realized I didn't want to end the series because it meant having to let go of my characters.  Once I had that realization, I convinced myself it was OK to let go and that I could visit my characters any time I wanted by reading my own novels!

But something else felt off-kilter, and I didn't know what it was.  I began thinking about all the research I did years ago, including traveling to places where Vikings had once lived and traveled.  I realized I've never been to Sweden or Denmark or the east coast of Norway.  My intuition whispered in my ear:  “There's something waiting for you in Scandinavia.  Something you need to write Book 4.”

When my intuition speaks that clearly to me, I know it's time not only to listen but to take action.  I decided to take a trip with the intent of finding what was waiting for me in Scandinavia.  I went on the Internet to figure out where I wanted to go and what to do once I got there.  I worked with a travel agent to design a trip to meet my needs.

And then I traveled on my own to countries where I don't speak the language.  No tour.  Just me roaming around Scandinavia and exploring.

I didn't worry too much about what my intuition promised I'd find.  I had no idea what it might turn out to be, what country I'd find it in, or exactly where or how I would find it.

What I can tell you is this:  I had one moment on my trip where I had chills.  All of a sudden, I stood completely still.  I turned slowly in place, making a complete circle while I took in everything surrounding me.  I thought, “This is it.  This is what my intuition told me was waiting for me.  This is what I need to write Book 4.”  Even thinking about it now, I still get chills thinking about it.

As I write this guest post, I'm also writing the final chapters of Book 4, the final novel in the Dragonslayer series.  I've laid the groundwork for what I found waiting for me when I went to Scandinavia, and I'll soon be using everything I learned from that experience to bring the story to its conclusion.

I don't know exactly what intuition is or how or why it works.  But I've learned the hard way that the smartest thing I can do is say, “Yes, Ma'am” whenever my intuition speaks to me.  Especially when it shouts.  And especially when it tells me there's something waiting for me somewhere.

During this blog tour I’m telling lots of stories about the research I’ve done for my Dragonslayer series.  You can find out where I’ve been and where I’m going next by checking my website (, my Facebook page (Resa Nelson & The Dragonslayer’s Sword), or following me on Twitter (ResaNelson).

If you’d like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  If you do, you can enter to win a copy of the first two books in my series, which I’ll give away at the end of this tour on Feb. 14.  To enter, just send email to  (I won’t keep your email address – this just makes it easier for me to keep track of entries.)  I’m also doing a book giveaway on GoodReads, so you can enter to win there at"

What a wonderful post! I'd love to travel around the world like she did some day. As for the books, the details are in my intro. Thanks for stopping by Resa!!!

Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award, the highest honor in science fiction and fantasy. It was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in a 4-book series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was recently published. Book 3 is scheduled for publication in Summer 2012.
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
In real life, Resa is a fan of chocolate, travel, summer, museums, ballet, movies, and Broadway musicals (her favorites are Les Miserables and Wicked).  She lives in Massachusetts.


Lan said...

My intuition tells me many thing as well :) I just wish I were able to act on them!! Great guest post. I love reading about all the ways writers go about getting their books written.

Post a Comment

Leave me a message! I love Reading them. If you are a New follower, let me know and I will be sure to follow back!