Before I wrote the first chapter of Pursuit of the Golden Lily, I spent months researching facets of the story. In hindsight, I see how that research was key in helping me formulate the details of the narrative. You know how it goes... one thing leads to another and before you know it you've fallen down the rabbit hole into worlds beyond worlds. For me, that was powerful and definitely one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this book. For others, that may not be. But one of the marvels of living in this technological age, is the ability to actually visit a destination without leaving your living room!
View from Bellevue Hotel, Penang Hill, Malaysia
Of course visiting all the locations in person, after I'd finished the book, was beyond amazing! But in the interest of creating an authentic and exhilarating novel it was most helpful to be able to visit places virtually. Aside from destinations, the internet also allowed me to validate precise details, like: what was the weather on a certain date? Were cell phones available within my book's time frame? How do you tie a Kinbaku knot? OK, I'll concede, some people probably won't go rushing to their computers to check up if it was raining in Thailand on the night of November 14th, 1998 - but if they do... well, they'll find it was a clear night on the road from Kanchanaburi to Chumphon!
And then there are the researchers. Individuals whose lifelong work uncovers for us a story that is rarely found in mainstream media. Stories that lurk in the shadows, often veiled in 'conspiracy' theory land - (most likely relegated there by the very people that have been exposed by said researchers!) They're people like Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, whose book Gold Warriors set me on the trail of the Golden Lily. Fearless people are these, who, undeterred by threats from government agencies and organized crime, continue relentlessly in search of truth. That's why, we should care about journalists who risk their lives seeking their stories; bloggers who write, despite the horrific deeds committed against their peers; researchers and writers who dig and dig, not for the money or the glory, but because they care about finding the truth, about exposing bullies, racketeers and high handed government officials who believe they are beyond the grasp of justice. We should be grateful to these people; they are the heroes amongst us.
Click Here to learn more about the Seagraves work.