Research: A Lamb’s Butt Hat for a Queen in Redruth, Cornwall

Posted by on June 30, 2024 in Untune the Sky, What Pooks Is Writing | 2 comments

My research for Untune the Sky, Volume Three of The Fury Triad, began in 1996, before I ever imagined I’d write anything set in England, as much as I loved it. It was our first trip across the pond and the only thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to see Cornwall. So despite many, many warnings, we spent three nights in London then picked up a rental auto from @AutoEuropeCarRentals and drove to The West.

This was particularly funny to me, seeing a big sign on the Motorway [aka US Interstate] that instead of saying to take the next exit to go to this town or that village simply said in huge letters: THE WEST.

So we headed to The West and thus began a love affair with a soulmate known is Cornwall, that has only grown stronger. On our second trip there in 2011, we were specifically doing research for The Fury Triad for during the interim I had indeed been drawn to write two screenplays and a YA fantasy trilogy set in England/Cornwall, all from wispy dandelion seeds that got blown into my muse’s imagination on that first fateful trip.

In Redruth, Cornwall, we were walking down a rather empty side street and I–ever the tourist–whipped up my camera and took a picture of a butcher shop’s display. In case my European and other international readers and friends are puzzled, this is simply something you won’t see in the US. Our meats come already dismembered and packaged for the most part!

Only later did I realize that this picture ended up being an image of the Queen wearing a lamb’s butt hat!

Okay, not the Queen, but even better–a Rom woman who followed me out of the shop and down the street, along with her daughter [on the right, looking at her] to ask if I wanted her to read my hand for 10 quid.

It’s kind of odd to me, that tourists do things on vacay they wouldn’t do at home, or at least the Resident Storm Chaser and I do. And in this case, he dug into his pocket and pulled out a fiver. [I hope everyone notices how smoothly Brit-speak rolls off  my tongue. Or, fingertips. Heh.]

She agreed that it would be enough and proceeded to do so.

Because I’m talking about how my love affair with Cornwall as well as the rest of England and the entire UK and Ireland ultimately influenced my writing, I must point out that I’m sure this was where the seeds of the magical Rom community in The Dead Shall Live, Volume Two of The Fury Triad, took root. What she told me that day, however, is another story.


  1. Can’t wait for the rest of the story.

    • Ha!

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