My grandfather on my mother’s side like to travel. He wasn’t really good about letting his wife know about it ahead of time. She’d find a note. Or get a telegram. Or just assume…
A few months later he’d be back from his stint working as a waiter on a cruise ship with treasures from whatever ports of call he visited. I remember a brick from Pompeii that has disappeared over the intervening years.
My grandfather died when I was about eight and I was heartbroken. He was a quirky lovely man who paid exquisite attention to his daughter. My mother’s and aunt’s viewpoints were slightly different.
All of this is a long introduction to how I inherited my itchy foot. I love to travel and have been blessed to be able to do a great deal of it in my life. I’ve also moved around a great deal. My children are responding by staying put.
One of the reasons I love to travel is to meet people and experience new things. Of course, travel is a great inspiration for romantic locations for stories. A few years ago, a trip through Nevada gave birth to Chasing the Tumbleweed. Memories of a camp job in the Catskills as well as trips my family took through the Finger Lakes region informed A Christmas Hope.
Currently I’m working on a book for Books To Go Now about an area a little closer to home–Livingston, Montana. (Livingston has a great little quilt shop, Thimbelina’s Quilt Shop. If you ever go through this small town, stop in!) In Montana, Mother Nature is ever present. That particular location will have a significant impact on the stories of The Ranch Collection which will come out in the next few months. (If you want to know when, sign up for my newsletter to the right.)
As a writer, I need to build a world and invite you, the reader, to come visit my romantic location. I need to explain the importance and essence of that location, without boring you to death. Integrating location into the story is vital.
As spring approaches and Mother Nature loosens her grip on the northwest, I’m going to be exploring more of Montana, spending time listing to the birds and watching the stars pinprick the obsidian sky. If you have a hankering to visit our state, please come. If you’re a writer, consider the Montana Writer’s Conference. We’ll show you a side of Montana you’ll never forget!
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