22 July 2011
Good morning, everyone!
While you're reading this, I'm out doing research. :) Well...I'm cheering my daughter on during last day summer camp activities while I take notes about the wonderful ambiance of the Tennessee mountains. Destiny will be taking a road trip for Book 3 of the St. George series. For those who are waiting for STEALING GRACE, book 2, I'm polishing the ending before I ship it out for a final look from the Cookie Monsters before it goes off to my Samhain editor.
There are a lot of great things about taking the muses on a road trip...aside from the strange looks people give you when you stop on a trail and start talking to yourself while you're waving the camera about. Imagining Destiny walking the same paths, smelling the same smells, interacting with the locals from the perspective of an outsider is both thrilling and captivating. The plot outline is in place, the main characters in play, but each trip to Crossville brings something new into the equation. New buildings and businesses for her to explore, like the new movie theater. West Coast Destiny traipsing around rural Tennessee is definitely a sight! She just may come home with a handmade quilt among the rest of the baggage.
Seriously, though. All jesting aside, research is something I love to do. As a mom, military wife, and homeschooling parent, I rarely get the opportunity to take the time to do trips like this. Squeezing in the random moments is what I do best. I took Grace to the beach on our family vacation last month. Walking on the Gulf at dawn made me realize that the reason the ending didn't work right was the setting. To make it work, I had to change the location from Iceland to someplace warmer.
The funny thing about locations is that one small change means that other things have to change, too. It's like knocking over a string of dominoes, only not nearly as fun. Small details matter. For Grace, I had to find a reason for her not to return to her Icelandic home. For Destiny, well, her trip to Tennessee has everything to do with her heritage. She has to make peace with her past before she can really move forward with Marcus.
What about you? Have you ever walked in someone else's footsteps? Real or imaginary? If you have, what did you like best? If you haven't, whose would you like to experience?