It’s early morning on our beach getaway, and I’ve been up for a couple of hours… writing. So I thought I’d offer an account of how a writer—this writer, anyway—takes a “vacation.”
The Drive: I don’t know about you, but driving always piques my imagination. On the way to the beach, our last stretch was the farm country of Delaware and Maryland. Beautiful small farms, dotted with rustic stands selling fresh produce… Hmmmm. What if a city hero or heroine inherited a farm? Or, even better, what if a handsome-but-struggling farmer found out that his high school ex was moving back home, and that his interfering mom gave her a job running their family farm stand?
Morning inspiration: Each day I get up way before the nocturnal teenagers. A little coffee, and to work. My new surroundings help me work out a thorny bit of backstory via a mind map. Even more important, distance from home gives me perspective on the bleeding-red-ink proposal that came back from my editor last week. Now, in the presence of beautiful sunsets and a big, big ocean, I realize that I don’t need to take the criticism personally. Of course, the suggested revisions will make my book much stronger.
Local Color: Pancakes go a long way
toward consoling the teenagers about the rain that is thwarting their tanning plans. Plus, bonus: I often include diners in my books, so I welcome the chance to visit a new one that’s full of character. This one has fish on the walls and a couple of waitresses who spontaneously start waltzing back by the kitchen. That’ll show up in a book!
Tourist Hot Spot: The Library: I am always pleased to see a library anywhere I travel, and Ocean City has a lovely one. Of course, I stopped in, congratulating myself that my side trip would be free. And then I saw the Books by the Bag Sale…
Reading! At home, I get so caught up in work and home chores that I don’t read nearly as much as I want to. Here at the beach, I’ve got two books going at once and am making great progress through both of them. Beach reads are a real thing!
What are your vacation plans this summer? Want to go to Colorado? I have two ways to get you there! You could read my free online story introducing Redemption Ranch, a haven for troubled veterans and senior dogs (you have to register at Harlequin.com to gain access, but it’s quick and easy). Or, you could grab a copy of The Soldier’s Redemption, on shelves today! Here’s the back cover copy:
Blaming himself for the accident that claimed his wife and son, ranch manager Finn Gallagher vows he’ll never remarry. Yet he’s drawn to his new rescue-dog caretaker, Kayla White, and her little boy. But the single mother’s running from something in her past. And as he begins wishing the little family could be his, Finn must convince her to trust him with her secret.