Because even when you’re writing the story – heck, even when you’re several editing passes in – research is never, ever done.
In this case, Buddhism. What can I say; I knew enough to start from, but getting specifics on it through my local library is… hmm. Shall we say, it’s easier to get the sensational-type stuff than plain “just the facts, ma’am”.
Besides, an interesting pic turned up in my internet searching while I was in the middle of NaNo and a character for it just showed up in my story and made herself helpful, while assisting in kicking evil butt.
So I’ve been having to do a bit of extra research just to make sure everything is plausible. Just in case. Because I read a lot of Japanese history, and much more manga, and that… shall we say, paints a very colorful view of the belief system.
(Pervert monk Miroku was one of my first introductions to a Buddhist character, ever. And after that – well. Genjyo Sanzo. Full stop.)
Not to mention, most of the image of American Buddhist monks and nuns in my head comes from Fire Monks: Zen Mind Meets Wildfire by Colleen Morton Busch. Wonderful true story, but maybe not the best source for technicalities on what Zen is or isn’t, what general Buddhists do or don’t do? At least it shouldn’t be an only source!
Anyway, so far all the ducks seem to be in a row for that character. Thank goodness. Because if Myrrh’s little light-frying of vampires went viral, and they know they need help with the Demongate… why shouldn’t a Californian Buddhist nun show up? 😉