I love to travel! Used to be, I made international trips at least once a year, both for work, and visiting my family back in Australia. Five trips, one year! And I’ve also made a huge change involving travel – emigrating from Australia to England, half the world away.
Now, unfortunately, I’ve developed a travel triggered health issue. Even a car ride to the local supermarket can make me sick for a week, let alone thinking about the trip to the airport and taking a flight somewhere.
So if travel is out, what’s a girl to do? One easy answer – read! Far cheaper, no need to pack, no airport crowds, and no jet-lag or travel-induced symptoms. Phew!
I’ve always enjoyed books that transported me somewhere else, whether to another time, another place, or both. Childhood favorites like the Anne of Green Gables series taking me to PEI. Elyne Mitchell’s Silver Brumby books – that’s an Aussie series that may not have made it overseas, set in the Snowy Mountains with a wild horse as the main character! The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe books, moving me first to England and then to Narnia. Other stories took me to the Outback, or the USA, or even into outer space!
Then I discovered romance. Oh my! Georgette Heyer’s Regencies took me both back in time and to England. In Harlequin romances, Essie Summer’s New Zealand set clean romances (all unfortunately no longer available) became keepers to read and reread.
No surprise I now love to write romances with international settings. I have plenty of ideas for books set close to the little part of England I now call home, but they’re in a long queue of books waiting to be written! Though London, setting for much of the stories in the Love in Store series, isn’t too far away, Scotland, setting for the Macleans is. And Idaho, the setting for Huckleberry Lake, and Oregon for Sweetapple Falls, far further again. One day, I’m hoping to write an Australian series too, set in a small coastal community. It’s waiting in the queue, too!
For now, it’s Italy. As well as the wonderful themes of faith, family, and forgiveness (don’t we all need those!), the setting is another reason I’m so excited about the A Tuscan Legacy series. I only visited a tiny corner of Italy once, literally for one day! Not Tuscany, sadly, we just drove over the border from France, ate a wonderful meal and probably the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted, then drove back. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to go there. But what’s not to love about writing stories set there?
My books in the series have international settings. Wales (Cardiff the capital city, and the beautiful Brecon Beacons) and Tuscany for Dolce Vita. Rachel and Jonathan drive along a Welsh country road very like the one in the first picture. Then it’s back to Tuscany again for the final book in the series, La Risposta. I’ve loved doing the research for the settings. Google is an author’s best friend!
And Marion, of course, who was blessed with a real life journey to Tuscany last year. Her amazing photos are almost as good as being there! You can see the wonderful images from her trip on the series website.
On top of my imaginary travels for my books, I’m getting to travel to new places as I read the other books in the series. Tuscany in That’s Amore. Washington DC in Luna Rosa. Texas in Rapsodia. Rome in Ti Amo. Not too far away in La Fiamma, set in London and nearby Reading, England. All over the world with Piero, the globe-trotting photographer in Bella Notte. And back to my birthplace of Sydney, in Solo Tu. This book is set in the beachside suburb of Sydney I was born in! Almost as good as a trip home.
What’s your favorite romance with a special setting that’s transported you somewhere else?
One comment on this post before May 18th, 2018, will be randomly chosen to win an ebook copy of my London Loves four-book set, containing the story that triggered the A Tuscan Legacy series!