Travels Make Writing More Fun
Years ago, while I was still in college, I crossed the English Channel from Dover, England to the Hook of Holland on an overnight ferry boat. The waters were dark and rough etching an unforgettable memory in my mind.
A few months ago, as I was working on my latest novel, Night Watch, I needed a dramatic and memorable scene to start the story. That’s when I recalled that strange black night on rugged seas that thundered as an old ferry boat churned its way across the channel. I began to think, what if? What if the NPR reporter, focal to my story, is traveling alone on the ferry? What if someone decides to silence her by throwing her off the ship? So my first scene was formed.
This is an example of how my travels always seem to tie into my writing. I use bits and pieces from trip memories to flesh out a story or to add extra intrigue.
A scene from an aquarium in Nassau begins a future book, Night in Paradise. That scene from my memory and from research adds color and interest to the book. The aquarium with its sea creatures becomes another character in the story just as the violent channel waters are a character in Night Watch.
Traveling is fun. Notes taken and photographs created during a trip may eventually provide needed background or focus for a new story. You never know from where your next lead will come.
Night Watch Blurb
Several years ago, my husband and I took an unforgettable trip to Trinidad. Before we left, I envisioned being part of a Bogart and Bacall movie where I might take on the glamorous façade of an old movie star by traveling in a white suit. So I tried it! That suit turned out to be inappropriate attire for the trip we made by small motorboat over a churning sea to reach Gasparee, the offshore island where our resort hotel was located. A network of dark caves with stalactites and stalagmites, located on that island, created lots of “what ifs” for me, especially when I learned of the island’s colonial history and found out the caves were once frequented by pirates who stashed their treasures there. Crossing the gulf and passing ocean-going vessels along the way made me wonder, what if Lily Henri, my heroine in Night Watch, journeyed by small boat over these waters late at night with her life in danger? What if she looked like a woman murdered in the waters of the English Channel and mistaken identity put her in danger? What if she were caught up in a gunrunning mystery and later kidnapped?
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And Lee at Tossing it Out is reviewing CassaStar today. Yes, I’m nervous!!