I researched flora, fauna and Geo-political history. And then, in 2005, I had the opportunity to visit the country for 10 days, which was really amazing. I took a lot of pictures, some of which are below. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger picture.
During this Web Serial Writing Month challenge, I thought I’d share some research tidbits in between posting chapters on Fridays.
For example, since Lord Vayne favors transforming into an owl, I wanted to make sure he turned into an owl that was indigenous to the region. I discovered there are two types of owls common in Romania: Tengmalm’s Owl (Aegolius funereus) — also called a Boreal Owl — and Little Owl (Athene noctua).
Male Boreal Owls range in size from 8 to 10 inches, while male Little Owls range in size from 8 to 9 inches. In my mind’s eye, I wanted Lord Vayne’s owl to be more like a Barn Owl, which ranges from 12.6 to 15.7 inches in length. So I dug deeper and found that there is one species of Barn Owl, Tyto alba in Romania and worked from there.
I like the face of the barn owl and believe it is quite easy to make it look sinister. The Boreal and Little owls were just too darn cute!