Sunday, April 1, 2012

Take Me Places!

One of the best aspects I adore about reading fiction is visiting places I have never been or may never see. So when I write, I want to transport my readers into the locales my characters inhabit or visit. That also gives me a marvelous excuse to travel!

Out of Forgotten Ashes, Book Two of my Dragon & Hawk historical Western romance series, travels from Tombstone to Tucson and San Diego of the mid-1880s. I know other writers who say they don’t need to visit a place to write about it, but it’s essential for me. I take photos and jot notes about smells, sounds, and how the very air feels. For example, there is a scene in Out of Forgotten Ashes when our hero, Evan Jones and his beloved wife Reyna sail around the southern tip of Point Loma (known as Cabrillo Point) to a beautiful beach facing the Pacific.

Young Hall, Point Loma Nazarene University (Author Photo)

I found exactly what I had in mind on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University, below Young Hall, one of the men’s dorms.  Of course, the buildings and such were not there at the time my story takes place; this area would have been wild and uncultivated in 1886. Can you imagine the cold shock of the spray on sun-warmed skin as a wave crashes against the rocks? Can you smell the brine and hear the gulls crying overhead?

Tucson sunset (Author photo)

In contrast, Evan and Reyna live in Southern Arizona -- a land of giant cactuses, dry heat, brilliant sunsets, and occasional violent thunderstorms that seem to rip the sky asunder with jagged lightning.

I feel strongly about being where my characters will walk. I hope I've made those fictional places so realistic you’ll feel as though you were there as well.

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