Musings on the Art of Writing

As a child, I discovered fantastic worlds created in books. When I began writing about the worlds of my own imagination, I realized how hard authors work to set their characters free to live for our enjoyment. This blog will explore that weird and wonderful process.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tale of Two Books

Never have I had two books on the go at the same time.  This is very weird and it probably means my blogs will not be as frequent.  Lol!

I got caught up in my gaming book this week when I thought about smallpox and wondered how I could get my modern girl, Sarah, vaccinated.  You may or may not know that smallpox was irradicated as a human disease in the 1970s and no one has been vaccinated against it since.  This led to a discussion with my microbiologist hubby who said why not have my character come in contact with cowpox.  Originally, cowpox was the disease used to vaccinate people against smallpox.

Turns out Europe has cowpox among its cattle but North American herds are free of the disease.  How could I get my Canadian girl exposed?  More digging on the internet led to an article written on the natural host of the disease which is rats.  The last outbreak being among a breeding colony in Germany.   Another stumbling block for me because Alberta, where Sarah lives, is rat-free.  But, rats are used in scientific research so I just had to have her meet up with a lab rat.  I wrote the scene yesterday and I think it will work.

I love learning something new when I research my books.  The fact that rats are the host for cowpox was a gem of information that not even my hubby knew.

So it's back to the books--literally.

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