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There Will Be Trebuchets

By On Feb 14 2012, 12:30 pm

When I was first writing Love is a Battlefield, its working title was There Will be Trebuchets. Not because trebuchets had any relevance to the plot, mind you, but because I was determined to find a way to put one in there.

Let’s face it—when you write contemporary romance, the opportunities to insert medieval weaponry are few and far between. Since it just so happened that I was writing about Scottish Highland athletes and Jane Austen re-enactors taking over a Renaissance Fair, it seemed appropriate to try and wedge a trebuchet in there somewhere.

Well, Dear Reader, I did manage to squeeze one in, but not nearly to the extent I’d hoped. You see, I kind of have a fascination with catapults and projectiles. I wanted things to be catapulted. I wanted projectiles.

One of my favorite fall activities is to watch the Annual Punkin Chunkin World Championship. As the name suggests, this is a competition in which pumpkins are hurled across an enormous field using various types of machinery, among them some pretty killer trebuchets. Now, the teams building these trebuchets are professional engineers with thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment. The machines they build can throw a gourd as far as half a mile, which, if you’re wondering, is about as far as I can run before passing out.

Since I have neither an engineering degree nor thousands of dollars to burn, I have to make do with a miniature trebuchet that we bought my daughter after we visited a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit last year. Now, this should be my most favorite toy of all time, but there’s one small problem.

It works really well.

As in, so well that when we put in the little balls of clay to shoot, they fling into the far reaches of the house. No matter how hard we look, we can’t ever find them, and they inevitably show up all smooshed and melty on the bottom of my sock or dangling from the cat’s nether regions, dingleberry-style. 

The trebuchet in Love is a Battlefield is neither as big nor as small as the ones in my own life. It’s more of a prop than anything else, there to set the scene and highlight just how awesome the Renaissance Fair the hero and heroine attend really is.

So while nothing is actually flung through the air in my book, I technically fulfilled my working title destiny.

And maybe I can start smashing things all over the place in a different book. There's always next time.

* * *

About Tamara Morgan

Tamara Morgan is a romance writer and unabashed lover of historical reenactments—the more elaborate and geeky the costume requirements, the better. In her quest for modern-day history and intrigue, she has taken fencing classes, forced her child into Highland dancing, and, of course, journeyed annually to the local Renaissance Fair. These feats are matched by a universal love of men in tights, of both the superhero and codpiece variety.

You can find her on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.

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