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Researching Tremors Through Time

Today on the blog is a guest post by author Anastasia Abboud. She will enlighten the reader about the extensive research required to write a novel with a time travel element. I find the research some answers undertake fascinating. I must admit being somewhat jealous. I don't have the time to undertake extensive research. I barely have enough time to write!


Dan, thank you so much for hosting me. I’ve been looking forward to chatting about the research I had to do for my time travel romance Tremors Through Time.

To me, research is fun and engrossing. My usual scenario is that I get so involved that I end up almost frantically pulling myself out of one rabbit hole after another. While the sense of discovery is a mighty pull, for me research is more about learning and understanding.

For Tremors Through Time, I had a great deal to learn before I could even begin. I have yet to visit Scotland in person and found it necessary to do everything I could to feel and visualize what my characters would feel, see, experience. I had to study about the Scottish Highlands, decide what areas my characters would be familiar with, and then become thoroughly familiar with those areas, both medieval and modern. That includes even the soil!

For the medieval, I took advantage of some excellent online courses. In addition, I read a lot of books and did plenty of online research. I had to acquaint myself with the ancient clans, choose where my hero would come from, and then learn more about those specifics.

I also had to research the Norse in Scotland. And then there were the languages – Scottish Gaelic, which would have certainly changed over a period of hundreds of years, and Norn, which is no longer spoken. Researching Norn led me to learning about Old Norse and then Icelandic, which is one of the spoken languages closest to Old Norse.

For modern Scotland, I was all over the place, in touch with people living and working there, even with Scotland’s Forestry Commission. They were very nice and helpful. I examined maps and viewed countless travel websites, photos, and videos – just to get a feel of the places my characters would know.

There’s still more! Time travel! I had to do quite a bit of studying for that aspect of the story – a little quantum physics here, a little seismology there… I also learned a surprising amount of information about offshore oil rigs! Even my research about North Carolina proved extensive. Tremors Through Time is Book One in a series. I needed to know where, when, and how the Scots emigrated to the U.S., make choices for the series based on that information, and do further research from there. There were other, unexpected things I had to look ino, but you get the idea! Throughout the writing process, every time I thought I had my facts set, new questions popped up.

I like to think that the result of my labors is that my readers feel thoroughly immersed in the story.

It’s been a pleasure, Dan. Thank you, again.


In the infinite vastness of time—past, present, future, past—love prevails.

She's made mistakes and paid the price, but Deidre Chisolm is no quitter. She'll never again be a fool for a man, not even her gorgeous new neighbor with his haunted eyes and strange accent. She'll be friendly, but nothing more.

Lachlann has to go back to fourteenth-century Scotland. He can't forsake his family, his son. But when a beautiful, kind, funny lady buys the house next door, he's never been so drawn to anyone in his life. Would she believe his story? After years of struggling through nightmares and flashbacks, headaches and illiteracy, dare he ask her to help him return?

Author Bio

For me, playing is the best -- playing outdoors in nature or in my garden, experimenting in the kitchen, spending time with those I love. I also enjoy disappearing into a good book, attempting crafts, learning, writing, exploring, discovering. I especially like to mix it up and have yet to perfect any of it; and I've come to realize that perfection's not the point. It's all wonderfully fun. That's the point! ​I prefer authentic and natural, be it food, lifestyle, people. I passionately enjoy both history and science, and certainly sociology to a degree, and I am most truly a romantic. ​​My husband and I have been married for over forty years. We reside near Houston, Texas, surrounded by loved ones. We have a blast with our little grandchildren. ​I thank God for this wonderful life.

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