Guest Blogger: How did writers manage before the internet?

How did writers manage before the internet? Just thinking about the lists of fact-checking questions they must have kept and the time spent in libraries or on the phone trying to verify some small thing but important issue is a bit terrifying. My hat’s off to all writers who succeeded before the internet provided us with instant access to facts and information.

Research can be such a rabbit hole for me as a writer. I’ll start out deciding just to check how far Kansas City is from Dallas by car (according to Google Maps it is 552 miles, or 7 hours 52 minutes) and end up somehow reading about horses for sale in the Kansas City area.

Still, research is often fascinating. Below are four interesting things I’ve discovered in the last three months due to researching the fairy tale books:

1) Hat fashions once endangered the baby birds of Florida! Who knew? “But once American ladies went wild for feathered hats in the 1870s, Florida’s birds became as coveted as California’s gold. By 1900, an ounce of snowy-egret feathers was worth more than an ounce of gold. And the desire for plumes led to full-scale ‘feather wars’ until 1920 – with plume hunters decimating the egret population in the Everglades.”

Wow, if that doesn’t sound like the making of a historical romance, I don’t know what does. Get on that writers! We need a feisty heroine who’s trying to protect the birds going up against her hot hero who is just trying to make a living during the feather wars!

Seriously, though, read that link. It’s absolutely fascinating!

2) Squab meat, aka baby pigeon meat was the preferred food for Easter Sunday meals in the Middle Ages. Mmm, tasty! If you’ve ever tasted pigeon meat, do comment and let me know how it tastes. Wait! Let me Google the answer and I’ll tell you now! Apparently it tastes like dark chicken! And according to Wikipediat, it has a "silky" texture, is very tender and fine-grained, has a milder taste than other game,and has been described as having a mild berry flavor. Now we know. If you were writing a scene where your hero was eating squab, well, you can just google a description of the taste. No need to go eat a baby pigeon yourself!

3) Wolves don’t mate for life! Boo! It turns out that is just a long held myth. However, it does seem that most wolf packs do have an alpha pair that lasts until one or the other dies or gets kicked out of the pack.

4) A milk cow will make milk for 6 years without having to breed her again, so long as she is milked properly every day. This actually played a role in our latest book, Ascending Hearts, available now, based on Jack and the Beanstalk.

All I can say is thank God for the internet! Of course, sometimes I wish researching wasn’t so very interesting. I definitely lose hours sometimes down the rabbit hole of fascinating articles online. What’s the last thing you lost time researching? Or a fascinating tidbit you learned from the internet lately?

Keira Andrews and Leta Blake write fairy tale inspired m/m erotica and romantica with Ellora’s Cave. Check out Ascending Hearts, available through Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Sony, and others! And also remember to look at Earthly Desires, the first book in the Tempting Tale series, available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Ellora’s Cave.

image001Ascending Hearts

Leta Blake & Keira Andrews

Part of the Tempting Tales series.


Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world changes. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose.

Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.


A Romantica® erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Ascending Hearts can be purchased at
Ellora’s Cave:
All Romance Ebooks:
Barnes & Noble:

Places Leta can be found around the web:

Places Keira can be found around the web:

4 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: How did writers manage before the internet?

  1. Lena Loneson says:

    You just broke my heart debunking myth #3! I’m still convinced I’ll discover I’m a werewolf one day…

    What a cool story concept, though. I love retold fairy tales but had never thought of Jack and the Giant hooking up! Gorgeous cover, too. The beanstalk is beautiful, and I’m a sucker for a red-haired man.
    Lena Loneson recently posted..My top werewolf books, plus a giveawayMy Profile

    • Leta Blake says:

      I hear you on debunking of the wolves mate for life myth. I’ve comforted myself by saying that apparently most wolves for an alpha pair until one of them dies. They might not be monogamous in terms of copulation, but when it comes to running a pack together and building a wolf-life together, whatever that means to a wolf, they do that, for the most part, until death.

      Thanks for the interest in the novella! We had a lot of fun writing it and really enjoy coming up with new takes on old tales. 🙂 And, yes, we’re suckers for red haired men, too!
      Leta Blake recently posted..Fanworks Friday: This House – Smallville FanvidMy Profile

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