This is one of the questions I get most asked about Stray Drop. I guess because of the references I drop left and right, I’ve had quite a few people say, “Wow, you must have done a ton of research.”
I did. Two years’ worth. But I cheated–or at least, we’ll call it dual credit. Much of my research was simply my college reading list. I attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, a.k.a. The Great Books School. The whole point of the college is that we read the Great Books of Western civilization, those writers who are generally considered to have most impacted our society.
First year, it’s almost entirely Ancient Greek. Second year, Ancient Roman, Biblical. So you see where this would be pretty helpful, right? We even learn some Greek, which, since that was the common language of New Testament times, was especially helpful.
Now, once you start reading some of this stuff, you see that they refer to each other constantly, proving that people of the day knew this literature. Some of the Romans we read talked about Plato and Aristotle like we talk about Grisham and Jeopardy. It was widely read by anyone with the knowledge and leisure time to read. So if you’re wondering about how my characters toss around discussions of some of this stuff, rest assured that it’s plausible. =)
For more particular research, I turned to the handy-dandy internet and scoured the web for information on fashion and housing, the military, ships, trade . . . you name it.
I’m sure I got some details wrong, and if you catch one and can point me to information that contradicts something I wrote, please contact me using the form in the left margin. I always love to learn!
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