I love to do research. It's how I came up with the idea for Woman of Honor. I discovered there actually had been some female knights in the Middle Ages, including the Order of the Hatchet, and immediately invisioned a little girl asking her king if she could be a knight, mentioning those ladies.
But I do research beyond just history. I love to research mythological and fantastical creatures as well.
For Christmas, hubby bought me The Mythical Creatures Bible: The Definitive Guide to Legendary Beings. It's an awesome book, the creatures are divided by type, and there are so many detailed colored pictures, it's just a beautiful work of art.
Then I won a giftcard through a contest. I spent half of the money of books for pleasure (Personal Demons, XVI, and Paranormalcy) but I also bought two more references books. A Witch's Guide to Faery Folk: How to Work with the Elemental Worldand Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth.
The Faery Folk has a wonderful list of all the faery creatures: their land of origin, other origins, other names, element, appearance and temperament, time most active, lore, where to fund them, how to contact, and magickal and ritual help.
The Giants books is such a huge book, it contains so many creatures!
It's going to take me a long time to go through these books and I can't wait! I've already started with the Mythical Creatures Bible, writing notes of great creatures to use and have come up with numerous story ideas too. I'll use information from these sources for my inspiring Monday creatures posts.