I adore visiting the locations where my books are set. Nothing compares to this approach when an author wants to capture intimate and intricate details, especially those involving architecture. During vacations in Salem, Massachusetts, I toured historic properties, became enchanted by the beauty surrounding Pickering Wharf, chatted with some local historians, spent hours at the Peabody-Essex Museum, relished several historical tours and after-dark ghost walks, strolled down Chestnut Street and admired the gorgeous Federal style homes. While the library could have provided me much information, the details I gained while “on location” were far more valuable and memorable.
Two erotic-romance novel ideas were also born during these getaways. One of those sunny spring afternoons found me browsing pendulums and crystals in a Salem shop. As I admired one of the beautiful sunstone pendulums, the name, face and voice of a romance heroine sprang to mind. In a few moments, I had a handle not only on the plot but also on some of her back story, motivations, goals and potential conflicts. I left the display counter, headed back out into the sunlight and jotted the details in a small notebook. On another Salem trip a few years later, I stood among those assembled for a presentation on The Salem Witch Trials. While mesmerized by the glowing red panel upon which the names of the accused were displayed, the handsome visage of a hero from 1700 filled my mind’s eye. Suffice it to say, I focused on him and missed the remainder of the historical presentation. On returning to the bed and breakfast, I spent a couple hours jotting notes and plotting the first half of another historical romance.
My most recent vacation to New Orleans and the breathtaking Garden District made my erotic historical romance,TORMENTED, possible. Lush pink azaleas. Well-tended lawns. Wrought iron fences wearing spikes which were sometimes tipped with poison as deterrents to those who dared trespass on mansion properties in days past. St. Louis Cemetery #1. Lime-washed tombstones. Basin Street. The French Quarter. A mysterious and mighty Mississippi. A riverboat awaiting the boarding of passengers for another scenic cruise. Marie Laveau’s legend. All these sightings found me pondering river travel and how it could have played a role in the rescuing of a heroine trapped and tormented by her loveless and lonely life.
During your travels, have you ever found yourself transported to another era and musing about in whose footsteps you could be walking?
Wishing you all many happy reading moments,
TO HELLE AND BACK AGAIN -- Available now at Ellora's Cave
TORMENTED -- Ellora's Cave (Must-Read from Dark Angel Reviews)
ROUGHRIDER -- Ellora's Cave Exotika
HELLE IN HEELS -- Ellora's Cave Exotika