Sunday, January 31, 2016

Canary Island Tale - Using places I've traveled in books.

Many of you know we've traveled on some long cruises, usually starting in Italy, and going across the Atlantic. These are not nearly as exclusive as they sound, and are quite affordable. Since there are a lot of days at sea, and the weather is warm, it's perfect for writing. I could hardly stay in a hotel anywhere for the price of these long distance cruises. They have to move the ship from Europe to the Caribbean, or South America when the seasons change and their routes expand, so they take on passengers for a very affordable price. I think the cheapest was like $800 for 21 days, believe it or not!

We opted not to do one this winter, so these pictures are from the 2014-2015 trip. I needed a location that was away from Europe (the Secretary of State meets with a Moroccan leader secretly), wanted the meeting to look like a vacation, and needed it to be close to Africa. The Canary Islands was one stop we've made a couple of times. This was perfect!

I like writing about places I've visited because it not only gives me a point of reference to be accurate with some details, but also because it gives me a focus if I can feel I'm in the place as I'm writing it. Sometimes I search the net for pictures of properties for sale, with lovely photos to choose from. Often we can use these in our book trailers. Getting a "feel" for a place is important. One speaker told me that the location becomes a character in your book. I think that's right.

I try to give variety to my books, not have the same theme, except the arc of the whole series, which is that these SEALs learn to overcome everything: from international events, to local home grown terrorists, to just plan evil bad guys. They save the day. They get thrown into things they didn't expect.

So I guess I use the place as the anchor, and then weave tales around these points, like spinning a spider web, hoping to snag readers and bring them into my world of the Brotherhood. Traveling gives me lots of dreams for my muse. It's fun to bring all my readers along on these adventures, both real and imagined.

Here's a snippet of the new book, which releases next month, and is on preorder, True Blue SEALs: Zak. It is Book #13 in the SEAL Brotherhood Series. Enjoy!

Where have you always wanted to travel? If you could go anywhere, where would it be?

See book trailer here.

12 comments:

  1. I've always wanted to go see the Australian out back. I'd like to see Ayres rock as well. I love travelling whether it's abroad I loved in Berlin for 2 years in the early 80s Paris or just the big houses here in UK

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    1. Love the idea with the big houses, me too, BTW. Southern plantations are awesome, the few I've seen. Paris, yes, so much to see. I'd love to see Ayers Rock too. My folks saw it. I have lots of Aussie fans, so maybe some day!

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  2. I've traveled the US, lived in Yellowstone, Thailand, and a summer in England, with hops to Scotland, Holland, and France. One of my readers told me, "When I read your book it was like I was really there." I'd been there. In fiction writing, it's the breath of reality, the sense of this could be real. Fun. :-) I'd like to visit Australia and New Zealand, Israel, the rest of Europe, and go back to England, only this time include Ireland and Wales and more time in Scotland.

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    1. You live my kind of life, Judy. Never had the pleasure of living overseas, and always wanted to, but I've traveled a lot. Those are some of the places on my bucket list too. Wales and Ireland I've not seen. Yes to Scotland. Have my fingers crossed for an event there this year. Hope to be able to go.

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    2. And Judy, you are so right. It is the stuff we writers need to bring the depth and feeling to our stories. The place does become a character, doesn't it?

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    3. Yes, it does, so much so, I hate writing about a place I haven't been. :-) A writer needs to love research. ;-)

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  3. I would love to travel but its hard since my husband is afraid to fly but some day I plan on going to Europe and Austraalia. I would love to get a RV and travel around the world!!

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    1. Would be wonderful, wouldn't it? I was amazed, back when we were young, camping in Europe was so much cleaner and nicer than the U.S. But yes, next time, take a caravan. I think my old bones like a soft bed these days!

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  4. I've been a few places out of the states Germany was my favorite. I'd love to see the rest states that I haven't been too. If I could I'd buy a RV after I retire and drive around seeing the rest of them.
    I'd love to see more of Italy than the runway and Australia is on my list. There is also a town in Austria I really would love to go see as it the setting for a book I love. I really want to visit CA again as I was so young when I visited before I didn't get to

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    1. That's awesome. What's the name of the book? I love all those places. Never been their, either. RVing is much better now than it was then. Even doing it vintage would be fun (if I was with someone who knew how to fix things). My hubby would be perfect!

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  5. The Boy from the Woods by Jen Minkman. she is a YA author from Austria that I got hooked up with when she contacted me to listen to an audio series she had. The Boy in the Woods is a favorite of mine I fell in love wth the city she set it in

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  6. I love it when I read a book and I can tell the author has been there or has done the research on a place. Reading is like travelling without leaving the comfort of my fave chair at home. The more I read, the more I realize how little I've seen of the world. I have a few places on my bucket list like Scotland, Hawaii, New Orleans and a coast to coast trip of Canada.

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