Location, location

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.


Will this  Zagreb fire truck end up in a story someday? Maybe.

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 bet something interesting is going on here in Warsaw.

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?

2 thoughts on “Location, location”

  1. I think it’s Malbork Castle. One of the most incredible castles in Europe, just 60km from Gdansk.The Teutonic Knightst called the castle Marienburg (St. Mary’s Stronghold) in case you hear that name, rather than Malbork.Its exquisite brick walls, relics of Medieval times.
    In 1997, the castle became a World Heritage Site 🙂

    I’m looking forward to reading your books this year.

  2. Like you I love to travel and I almost always find inspiration for stories in my travels or in places I’ve lived (I’ve lived all over). I found Wales very inspirational (hopefully the story I just did using that will get into the anthology). The Tower of London as well. I loved Victoria on Vancouver Island (and yes I did use it too). I often use Pittsburgh and Madison WI where I lived. I think when we see these places and get inspired by them, it really enhances the stories we write about them.

    Jana D.

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