***I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the more random ways my day job intersects with my writing today, because it definitely came in handy while writing a time-travel book J. My day job is studying dead people’s DNA, which means that I work closely with archaeologists to analyze the remains they unearth from all over the world. I started off in straight archaeology, and have been on quite a few digs both as a student and as a professional archaeologist (then I realized that I’d spend my whole life in a dirt hole if I kept that up and decided I liked showering too much, so I opted for the lab—true story!).
Anyhow, archaeologists are probably the first people who would jump at the chance to travel in time (anyone ever read Timeline?). The study of past human populations tends to attract people who are fascinated by the past, and I’m no exception. And when I ended up with characters who could travel into the past, well it only seemed logical that they end up a little farther back than they gambled for. Which let me have a little fun with what I know, and have been on digs to investigate, about the past populations in Northern Utah. I set Sienna and Henry for a brief sojourn with the Fremont population, which I won’t get into a ton of detail about here, but if you want to know more, ask in the comments!
Having a little knowledge of the past, and what happens to things over time, also helped out with the setting in a few other ways. It helped me research what Boston would have looked like in the 1870’s, and how dilapidated a house could get in three years. Sometimes it is funny little things like that that peek out from my day job and help in my writing. Other times, well, it’s nice to get to make a few things up, which is obviously frowned upon in my day-job :).
Have you ever been on a dig? Ever wanted to? Or does your day job creep into your writing too?