When I first started writing the “Blood Bonds” series, I decided to read as much about the tenth century as was practical. That way, I wouldn’t put anything into my stories that hadn’t been invented or discovered yet. In my opinion, that is a fatal mistake to make. Shoots credibility to blazes.
At first, I stuck rigorously to reading about the first half of tenth century Europe. I learned there wasn’t much written about that era, so I expanded my reading. Am I glad I did! Amazing things took place around the year 1,000 A.D. While I can’t use them specifically, knowing what happened later in time puts events into context for me. One major example is learning Scandinavian women had much more freedom and equality than their counterparts in pretty much the rest of the world. Did I know that beforehand? No. Does this knowledge add to the depth and richness of my characters? Yes.
My research has taught me something about what it was like to be alive in the tenth century. I think I’ll stick with the here and now!
P.S. If you want to know the titles and authors of specific books I read, ask. – R