np6For anyone who has ever visited my website, you may find it a little strange. You may even think my cover photo here on my blog a little odd. I promise there is a method to my madness. All of these random photos are my inspiration for places in my books. Some get used directly and some are just ideas for that place.

The cover photo on my blog, for instance, is my best friends farm in Tennessee. I love itnp4 there it’s peaceful and serene. I keep hoping to buy land there one day if only I can pat off my student loans. But its also been the inspiration for a couple of places in my books. Yes, both have been farms but on two very different worlds. In my Chronicles of the Coranydas series the idea of it, the peace and tranquility of a private farm, was used as the inspiration for a homestead. But just today I described the farm and the drive to it almost right down to an exact replica of the house. Sure I took a few creative liberties but if I told you the town you would recognize enough of what I wrote if you ever went there.

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On my website, you’ll see a collection of photos from several National Parks. My Uncle is an amazing photographer and was kind enough to let me use them. If you start combing through the web you’d be surprised how amazing and inspirational this country really is. The valley behind the page for my series reminds me of one mentioned in the book. The beach on my cover page reminds me of Lekanis one of my Elvish cities.

Then there is a natural hot spring on my review page. It was taken in Yellowstone Park. np3It’s an amazing coincidence for me because the romance novella I’m working on is partially set in the park. What amazing luck that my uncle has been there. Every time I lose focus and ask myself why oh why did I start writing a book that requires so much research, again, I can flip through his flicker account and see the park. I can imagine my characters there and keep writing.

The two odd photos out are ones that I took. The New York skyline sits proudly behind For Their Sins because Alex and Cain visit there before everything goes to shit. I Moraine Lake, Rocky Mountains, Canadathink anyone who reads the book will instantly get the reference. I also thought a lot about my trip there when I wrote the book, so it’s only fitting. We’ll have to see how it meshes with the new cover though.

The last picture is inspiration waiting to occur. I went to Lake Powell several years ago and spent two glorious days kayaking on the serene turquoise water. Partway through the day we abandoned our boats and climbed onto the rocks to take pictures. I still haven’t figured out exactly how to use one of my favorite places on earth in a book yet but one day I will. It’s too beautiful not too.

My point with this long and rambling blog is: that inspiration for settings, whether you np5are building a new world or placing characters in ours, is right in front of you. If you need a huge waterfall, or a mountain with a lake below it, or even an alien landscape everything you need is just a picture away.

 

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