Thursday, August 30, 2007

Great Reference Books

Over on Fangs, Fur, & Fey, a great question was raised a few weeks ago that I thought I would take a look at today.

“What reference books do you use when writing Urban Fantasy?”

Actually, some of the books I am most dependent on aren’t specific to urban fantasy.

My absolute must-have books:

1. A great dictionary – you know, one of the 10 pound dictionaries.
2. A thesaurus. The one I have isn’t huge. It was given to me by my father when I was 13 or 14. I don’t use it too often, but it’s great to have on hand when that one word you’re searching for continues to elude you.
3. The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook by Sherrilyn Kenyon – This is a killer book. I have a number of very old vampires in my books and I like for my names to have the same old feel to them.
4. Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon – This book has a great character questionnaire, which will help give both major and minor characters wonderful depth. I’ve used this book several types to help me brainstorm, looking for ways to give my characters strange little quirks that make them original.

Specific books for urban fantasy:

1. Mythology by Edith Hamilton – great quick reference for Greek and Roman mythology.
2. A Field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and Other Subversive Spirits by Carol K. Mack and Dinah Mack
3. Spirits, Fairies, Leprechauns, and Goblins by Carol Rose
4. Giants, Monsters, & Dragons by Carol Rose

And naturally, all my research with books is supplemented with information that I can find on the Internet as well. Some of my favorite sites are listed in the column on the right.

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