If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you probably know how much I love to travel. I do it as much as time, money, and family obligations permit. I enjoy the adventure of travel, love seeing new things and meeting new people. And as a writer, I love the way travel inspires my muse.
I’m not sure what it is about a place that captures my imagination or sparks a new story. I do know the feel of a place sets the tone for a tale, and it’s often the small details that get the words flowing. The place doesn’t need to be exotic—I’ve been inspired by Iowa and Nebraska. It doesn’t even need to be a real place! The village of Urchin Cove in Treasure owes a lot to the depiction of Penzance in the Rex Smith-Linda Ronstadt performance (with Kevin Kline as the pirate king, of course!).
So on February 3, my novel Pilgrimage will come out. It’s a fantasy set in an imaginary land, but influenced quite a bit by old cities I’ve visited in Europe. In April, I’ll have a novella again set in an imaginary place, but inspired by Poland and the Czech Republic. In May I’ll have another novel, Motel. Pool. I wrote it after a trip to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. I don’t think any of these stories would exist if I hadn’t traveled.
|This Parisian bakery needs to be in a story too.|
And what’s next? I’ve been working on a story set in 15th century Bosnia. And another set at an imaginary border—the idea for that one came from a lonely Mountie atop a mountain near Skagway, Alaska. And then there’s a quickie set at Seattle’s Central Library.
I’m sure I’d still be a writer if I never left my house, but I think I’d have a lot less to write about.
Are there locations that especially inspire you?