Friday, March 25, 2011

Alpacas and llamas

One of the things I love about writing fiction (the way I write it anyway) is that I get to do some really fascinating research and I get to pick my own things to research, too! 


When I wrote January Moon I researched female genital mutilation and many other topics and now for its sequel, March Storm, I'm researching animal law and dog fighting.

Tough stuff... hard to handle.

But it's not all grim and heart breaking; nope, not at all. :)

Here's an example: in March Storm Del Carter, our Chicago homicide cop in January Moon, has finally put together his little piece of heaven in the country -- where he and Jess want to raise their family. Jess is teaching at a local college and Del is breeding his beloved alpacas.

Do I know anything about alpacas?  Hell no!

Well, at least I didn't before this... now I'm learning.

What amazingly gentle and sensitive creatures! And I'm talking to breeders all over the country and right here in the Midwest. They are as wonderful as these sweet creatures.

Just another peculiar blog entry for The Windy City Author.... :)

Peace to all and have a nice weekend...


  1. can alpacas handle a non-andean climate and terrain?

  2. They're very adaptive feeders and eat grasses, shrubs, trees and can be kept on a variety pastures and hay. A bale of hay will feed an adult for a week. Interestingly, because of their high feed conversion, hays with high protein (like alfalfa) aren't recommended because the animals can become easily over weight. But during periods of strain (breeding too I guess) they should be fed supplemental grains like cracked corn & rolled oats and even alfalfa. I think there are some pelleted "chows" they can be fed. But they are amazingly easy to raise. See all I know already!! Lots more to learn but it's interesting (you know me, I love animals so I always find this kind of stuff fascinating).

  3. It is interesting which directions our characters lead us. I've been deep in the trenches of drug addiction, as well as researching tea and England's East India Company's involvement (for lack of a better word) in India, Hindu philosophies, and yoga. Talk about very disparate issues! LOL.

    I think I might have to quit reading your blog until I've finished JM, almost kinda sorta gave me a spoiler here! LOL.