From my honeymoon in Aruba and a summer excursions to Jamaica, Antigua and Montserrat, I came up with the idea for a hot and spicy novel. The sand and sunshine just begged to be the setting for a story about a man and woman finally recognizing their attraction to each other and falling in love with a side drama of a kidnapping by a drug lord that threatens to tear them apart. Not that I had problems with drug lords of course, but it makes for a good story.
I took a lot of pictures. Now I plan to make up my own island with characteristics of these different places, including the frightening bus ride in Jamaica. Here’s an excerpt of my book, which is taken directly from personal experience:
“Nicole Robinson screamed along with the rest of the passengers on the bus as the driver cut left in front of oncoming traffic. The chrome of the tractor-trailer's grill sparkled a few feet from her window. A split second before she became the truck’s new hood ornament, the bus cleared the road and rambled through the gates of the resort.
Shoving Sylvia's journal back into her carryon bag, she gave thanks the bus driver hadn't killed them on the two-way road built for one. Sylvia was going to get an ear full about this ridiculous trip.”
On the other hand, there is nothing like going on location after you have plotted out a novel though. One spring a couple of years ago, I came up with the idea for a historical Western—the story of my heart. It took me ages to find the perfect historical background and location. Call it fate, synchronicity or whatever, but I found the perfect spot with the history to backup the real part of the story.
Once I found the fort, I learned of a reenactment taking place there the following month. Thanks to a very supportive husband, I got to pack my camera and go on location. It was breathtaking. It was a walk through history for me that I’ll never forget. I could visualize the drama of the story as I walked around the ruins of the historical locations. I could almost hear the battle that ensued at the end and see my heroine through it all. The reenactors were good sports about the entire experience and did their best to educate me about historical facts, clothing, soldiers and the various Indian tribes as well as the conflicts at that time.
The gorgeous woman in this picture is portraying an officer’s wife. Her real life husband, who also happens to be said officer, made her dress. Later in the day, she gave us a lively demonstration about the layers of clothes under that green dress. I can tell you that I could never wear all of the required garments of the day, especially in the summer. It’s a good thing I was not born in that era.
Have any of you gone to places where you’ve imagined a story playing out?