Years ago I never would have believed I would have so many books under my belt. When I started writing Biblical Fiction, starting with “Journey to the Well, the Woman of Samaria,” one of the members of my critique group said, “Diana, you write differently when you write Biblical Fiction.” Indeed I did. I loved the research and learning new facts. I became knowledgeable about the Jewish culture, the Sabbath prayers, ceremonies, dress and customs. I was keenly aware that if I wrote carelessly, guessing at the facts, I would hear from my readers, which included a Jewish Rabbi. In Martha, I mentioned potato latkes, and was told kindly by a Jewish reader that they did not have potatoes at that time. A detail I had overlooked. In my book, Mary, Chosen of God, a Messianic friend of mine went over the book in great detail to ensure all was correct. It was an invaluable task and I was very grateful.
Attention to detail and researching carefully makes your story real to the reader. If they find a lot of misconceptions and errors, your work is invalidated. Granted, most of my readers might not know the fact that is in error, but it is the one reader I do not wish to offend by stating inconsistencies. Before beginning a new book, I research all the books written about that character. First, I do not wish to duplicate their story. Second, I look to see if their character is credible and they have done their homework. If you are writing about a character in the New Testament, you are in the times of Christ and you cannot use modern expressions. Your character must be in keeping with the times they lived in. It’s all in the research.