Guest Post: Who Says Research Can’t Be Fun? By Dora Hiers
June 9, 2015
I’m excited to have my good friend Dora Hiers here to talk about the lengths she went to in her research for her new release, Rori’s Healing. Gotta love that cover! (below) Not content to prowl the internet for information about llamas, she got the family involved and went straight to a source.
Dora: Rori Harmon, the heroine in my upcoming release, Rori’s Healing, owns and runs Forever Family Animal Sanctuary, a refuge for rescued llamas, some abandoned or relinquished by their prior owners, others malnourished or neglected. I thought it might be fun and informative to get some hands-on experience. So Hubby and I loaded Little Man into the car and took a ride to a nearby llama farm where the owner was kind enough to show us around their family’s lovely farm. He probably felt like he answered a gazillion questions. He would be right.
The beautiful animals were curious from the moment we drove up. Llamas tend to be social, and apparently you can’t have just one.
I am so glad we visited. The owner shattered some misconceptions I had from earlier research. Like llamas hum when they’re happy. Not. We heard them hum, but it wasn’t because they were content. He’d called them over, and they came running, expecting food. When he didn’t deliver, they hummed, much like a cow’s moo but softer. Aren’t they handsome fellas?
I came prepared with an extra set of clothes for everybody because my research also revealed that llamas spit. Some do, but mostly at other llamas. They usually only spit at people if they were raised with extensive human handling, like in a petting zoo. These guys behaved themselves, but I did witness an alpaca spitting at a llama, perfect inspiration for cantankerous Jumbo in Rori’s Healing.
Llama mamas aren’t typically protective or nurturing, but Peaches here hardly let us get close to her two-day-old baby, which is called a cria. What a doll, right?
Little Man enjoyed hanging out on the farm.
We all had a great time and were sad to see the visit come to an end. Do you think Little Man was dreaming about llamas?
Writers, where did you take your last field trip for research purposes? Readers, do you enjoy reading stories with animals? What’s your favorite type of animal to read about?
Still stinging from the publicity surrounding her father’s death, social phobic RoriHarmon prefers the solitude of her animal sanctuary, accepting that marriage isn’t in her future. Racecar Driver Graham Decker refuses to be wrangled into a relationship by another money-hungry female. On a philanthropy mission, he arrives just in time to assist Rori with a llama birthing, but his appearance thrusts her into the media spotlight again. Has Graham found a woman who doesn’t care how deep his wallet extends? Has Rori finally met a man who will stick around when times get tough? Is healing for a hurting heart finally within Rori’s reach?
After a successful auditing career, Dora left the corporate world to be a stay-at-home mom to her two sons. When her youngest son no longer wanted her hanging out at school with him anymore, Dora started writingHeart Racing, God-Gracing romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and her local chapter, Carolina Romance Writers.
Dora and her real life hero make their home in North Carolina. When she takes a break from cranking out stories, she enjoys reading, family gatherings, and mountain cabin getaways. She despises traffic, bad coffee, technological meltdowns, and a sad ending to a book. Her books always end with a happily-ever-after!
Sandra Ardoin engages readers with stories of love and faith. She’s the author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com. Subscribe to receive her updates and specials: http://eepurl.com/Xjqwr. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.