When you travel–even close to home–do you ever see things that inspire you? Whether it be someone’s landscaping, or their garden, or home decor ideas?
That’s sure true for writers. Wherever we go, we tend to see places that spark the imagination. People who might be perfect as heroes, heroines or secondary characters. Bits of inadvertently overheard snippets of dialogue. Houses or shops or towns that seem like a perfect location for a story to take place.
To that end, actually being able to travel somewhere to do research, and then writing a novel using personal observation, is wonderful.
I’ve set a lot of stories in the mountains of the American West or in the ranch country of Wyoming, Montana and Colorado….and in the scenic, forested areas of northern Wisconsin or Minnesota. All of them are places I have visited often, and love very much.
I write contemporary inspirational and sweet romance, all set in the USA, and never thought about using foreign settings…until we started to travel a bit farther afield. And what an inspiration that has been!
Trips to Scotland and Ireland led to two Indie novellas: A Scottish Christmas, and An Irish Christmas Blessing. I just had to use the experiences of being there, and it was so much fun to do so! And England…well, setting a story there is up next.
Is anyone here a Downton addict like me? Visiting Highclere Castle was a dream come true. The photos are all from the grounds (the last is the back of the castle, which you never see on the TV show!) though photos indoors were not allowed. Everything– indoors and out– made me think of all of the wonderful story possibilities there could be in a setting like this one.
In the old days, an author had to buy research books, have personal experience with a situation and setting, or have the right people to contact in order to achieve a realistic story.
Now, we have the world at our fingertips through the Internet and we can gather information instantly. But still….whenever possible, it’s wonderful to see things first hand.
What are your favorite settings in the novels you read? Which ones do you long to see more often?
Best wishes to you all for wonderful books to read, and lots of time to enjoy them!
Blessings to you all, Roxanne Rustand