“‘I’m the last Bishop. Maybe my blood will help you figure out why.’

We stared at each other, vampire and witch, while Miriam and Marcus waited patiently. Finally Matthew made a sound of exasperation. ‘Bring me a specimen kit,’ he told Marcus.”

I’m not a scientist, but a historian of science. That means I often know just enough science to get me into trouble. To make sure as few bloopers get through as possible, I rely on the generosity of my scientific colleagues to tell me when a counter is called a bench and when my dialogue doesn’t sound like something they would hear in the lab. This was most crucial in THE BOOK OF LIFE, but even in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES I wanted the science to read as authentically as the history or the magic (two subjects that I know a bit more about).

Take this scene. When I had colleagues who do genetic research read it, they had to explain gently that they preferred cheek swabs to blood samples.

“Oh, for crying out loud. This is a book about VAMPIRES,” I exclaimed.

My compromise? I kept the blood draw for me and put the cheek swab in for backup. Scientific? Maybe not. But hey, it is a lot more evocative–especially given the nature of our leading man!

THE SCIENTIST is a song I listened to a lot when writing the trilogy, including the laboratory scene, but it never actually got onto the playlists. I listened to the original Coldplay version when writing, but I love this more recent cover by Boyce Avenue featuring Hannah Trigwell. As always, if you enjoy the music please support the artists and purchase it through legal channels!