As well as putting pen to paper (or in my case fingers to keyboard!), I spend a lot of my time doing research. My books are set in far flung destinations that have a long varied History and so I like what I am writing about to be accurate.
With Nabataea I was very lucky, I have been to Petra in Jordan and have memories, photos and video to refer to, the same is also true of Egypt. I have also done an Egyptology course and am due to do an Archaeology course in January.
This doesn't stop me from researching though. The world of Archaeology and History is fast moving at times, and things constantly change. When I first visited El Khasneh in Petra, you could walk inside and view the building in its entirety, nowadays the entrance is blocked and special permission is required to enter. At the Valley of the Kings in Egypt stills photography and video cameras (including mobile phones!) are banned from the site. Changes like this means I have to constantly read up and double check facts to see if they have altered.
I love research. I love learning something new, whether it be by using the internet, visiting a library or Museum, or reading one of my many books in my own mini library. I am currently researching Volcano's, Earthquakes, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Mount Vesuvius and the Roman Empire. This is in preparation for the groundwork for 'Vesuvio'. I have not yet had the chance to go to this part of Italy, but it is on my list and I hope to add to my pages of notes soon by seeing the real thing.
Some may find research tedious and boring, but to me it is not only incredibly important for the type of writing I do, but as a history buff (all though my friends may term that 'geek') it gives me a chance to continue learning and expanding my knowledge of the Ancient World.