This probably breaks some code of authors that I’m unaware to even tell you this but….
Confession: I’ve never been to the Bahamas or any tropical island
Another Confession: I’m currently finishing up writing a book that is set–you guessed it–in the Bahamas.
This is the first time I’ve written a book set in a place that I’m not familiar without–outside of movies and things anyway. It’s an interesting and a little nail-biting experience!! What if I screw something up? What if someone who vacations there every year is like, NO WAY, on some detail I never even thought to question? (to them I say–take me with you next time and I’ll totally write another book correcting said detail!!!!)
So what’s an author to do?
First, thankfully, the book is set on a made-up island in the Bahamas, so at least I have a little creative license there.
Second, THANK YOU JESUS FOR THE INTERNET. Seriously, Google is my friend. Travel blogs? Check! Random family’s vacation posts? Check! I live and learn vicariously through other people!
Third–and this is the hardest–I’ve resigned myself to the fact that it won’t be perfect. I work full time, am the mother of 4 kids, and I don’t have the funds or time to visit every single place I want to set a book in. I wish I did. I really WANT to. And while I usually try to stick with areas I’m familiar with, this particular book jetting me off to a place unknown due to the nature of the book and the series it is in. Totally not my fault.
So I’ll do everything in my power to get the book as authentic and real and make the reader feel like they are basking in the sun on a tropical island beach, but will leave the stress alone because I am only human. I’ll be on that island in fiction land right along with my readers.
So my question for today is — have you ever had a moment in a book where you were like, “NO WAY” because you were familiar with the area and perhaps the author was not? Did it ruin the experience for you or were you able to keep going?
Also, if you’ve been to the Bahamas or similar tropical island–I’d LOVE to hear your favorites parts or some “tips” for making my characters have fun an authentic experience!!
And be on the lookout for Match Me if You Can in the Resort to Romance Series coming April 2019!