Did you ever wonder how authors manage to visit all the places in the world they write so eloquently about?
Believe me, if I could travel to exotic locales I would (not so sure about different worlds though!), but most of us have to make do with researching the areas we’re interested in placing our characters into.
Whether it’s a castle in England
or the vineyards of Italy
We can get real-time views thanks to modern day search engines like Google. With Instant Street View simply type in any address and you’re instantly transported there with a complete 360 picture of the area.
Another great search tool for authors is Pinterest. You can find just about anything you’re looking for on subjects ranging from fashion to settings, and of course inspiration 🙂
My upcoming release, Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance, is set in the Texas hill country. I had visions in my head of what the area should look like, but needed to make sure of some facts such as what sort of flowers are prevalent in the open ranch fields? I did an online search and came up with this lovely field of bluebonnets:
Perfect for my scene! Here’s a little taste of what I wrote:
Cassandra stared at him, bemused. The sun had decided to peek out from behind the clouds, turning his hair antique gold in the streaming light. Their clothes were soaked, but on him, it was a good look. His shirt plastered to his torso highlighted strong shoulders and a well-defined chest. One she wanted to rest her head against.
Startled out of her trance, she jerked her gaze out across the most beautiful valley she’d ever seen. Bluebonnets and healthy green grass waved back and forth, teased by a playful breeze. An old log cabin, its roof sagging and covered with moss, crouched by a babbling brook shaded by a giant cottonwood. And just to finish the fairytale, a multi-hued rainbow cast its benevolent glow over the entire picturesque area as though daring the rainclouds to return.
“Wow,” she said. “You weren’t kidding. This place is fantastic.”
A deer broke cover and slowly made its way down to the brook, testing the air every few feet.
Cass grabbed Matt’s arm, intensely conscious of the coiled strength that lay just under the skin. She cleared her throat and pointed, “Look, Matt, it’s a Bambi.”
Matt gazed at her instead of the animal, the quirk of his mouth causing a heart-palpitating dimple to appear. “What is it with women and Disney creatures?”
She laughed and dropped her hand, uncomfortable now with his sole attention. “Are you telling me you never had a favorite character from a movie when you were a child?”
He lifted his head and eyed the deer, his profile reminding her of a proud animal. When he turned back the humor was gone. “We should get down there before the weather decides to break again. You ready?”
Curiously sorry she’d ruined the moment, Cassandra nodded and they started out for the valley floor. The deer took one look at them and bounded away, disappearing into the woods on the far side of the clearing.
“What is this place?” she asked, lagging along in his wake, her hand brushing the top of the grass as they walked.
Matt glanced back, then kept going, his body cutting them a trail. “It was my great-grandfather’s first home. Dad used it as his fishing shack when he wanted a break from ranching.”
Cassandra gazed upon the valley with new eyes. She imagined an adventurous young man with Matt’s face riding across the Texas plains until he happened upon this magical land. Easy to see why he decided to stay.
If you’d like more of my vision for this story, check out my Pinterest board here
What about you? How do you research your settings? Any tips or tricks you’d care to share?
Hold ‘Em releases August 15th, I hope you give this funny, heartwarming book a try!
In the game of love all bets are off
When professional poker player Matthew Shaughnessy wins the pot of a lifetime, he didn’t expect to land himself a fiancée.
Cassandra Gardener is left with little choice but to play the part of a Texan’s fiancée for a week if she wants to clear her father’s gambling debt.
Can two people with so much to lose win the biggest bet of all- love?
International Link: http://books2read.com/HoldEm
Add to your TBR List: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34682965-hold-em