Ask A Wench: It Started with a Place…

AAWGraphic Nicola here, with the March Ask-A-Wench feature, where a number of Wenches answer a question sent in by a reader.  Cheryl Castings asked this question and wins a book from me:

"I love to travel, and I have seen some wonderful sights.  I was wondering if any of the Wenches has ever been so captivated by an historic or scenic site that she felt compelled to write a story with that setting.  I know that many authors start with either characters or a plot as a story idea, but have any of you STARTED with a PLACE?"

Anne Gracie was inspired by the exotic:  Cheryl, I, too am a keen traveller, and many of my books have been set partially in places other than England. Various editors, however, have gently encouraged me to rein in this desire, claiming most readers prefer familiar settings.

My second book, TALLIE'S KNIGHT was inspired by an old print I saw of aristocrats on the Grand Tour Crossing the Alps being carried over the Alps in a kind of basket (like a sedan chair) with hefty Swiss peasant lads providing the muscle. I immediately knew I had to write a Grand Tour story. When I was researching for the story, I came across this description:

"You would have been diverted at seeing us cross the barrier into Piedmont called Mount Cenis. The day before yesterday we left Lansleburg tied on litters like cripples, muzzled and pack'd in straw, our chairs supported by wild Savoyards, and relays of them running by the side, who hopp'd nimbly with us rock to rock, singing and emulating each other in feats of activity…"

To Catch A Bride My most recent book, TO CATCH A BRIDE, is set in Egypt. I'd been to Egypt when I was a little girl (though I never saw the pyramids except in the distance.) I was fascinated by the narrow cobbled streets only as wide as a donkey, the crowded markets, the colorful throng of exotically-dressed people, the street beggars and conjurors, the strange and wonderful things for sale, the scent of exotic spices and strange food cooking and so on. They're still vivid in my mind, and I'd always wanted to set a book, or part of a book there. My heroine, rather than being an archaeologist, as in so many Egypt-set historicals, is the lost daughter of an Englishman, and she's been living on her wits in the narrow streets and marketplaces I remember.

Cara Elliott loved the Irish mountains: I’ve not yet created an entire book based on a location, but I Killarney national Park have been inspired to add certain scenes because of a specific place that I’ve visited. Two examples quickly come to mind . . .

When I was traveling along the Ring of Kerry in southwest Ireland, I drove through Killarney National Park, a hauntingly beautiful wilderness which features breathtaking vistas, scenic lakes and the rugged McGillycuddy’s Reeks, the highest mountains in Ireland. It was such a dramatic setting that I knew I wanted to use it in a story. So in SEDUCED BY A SPY, one of my Andrea Pickens books, I created a chase scene where my heroine and hero eluded their enemies among the rocky trails.

The spy wore silk A second inspiration was Bovey Castle, a magnificent country estate hotel set in England’s Dartmoor National Park (the setting of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles.) With its rambling stone manor house, formal gardens, rolling lawns and mist-shrouded woodlands, the place had a wonderfully mysterious ambiance. Not long after my visit, I needed a remote ducal estate in which to stage a rare book auction and immediately thought of Bovey Castle as my “role model for Marquand Castle in THE SPY WORE SILK.

Jo Beverley featured dramatic coastal settings: This isn't exactly a matter of a place inspiring a storyDragon's Bride because I already had part of the story for THE DRAGON'S BRIDE. It was taking place on the coast, and I picked the Dorset/Devon border because the geography felt right and I knew it  had smuggling history. As we were coming over for a holiday and research trip, we went to the area, in particular the small town of Bee, which might be a good setting.

It was perfect for my story, but I hadn't realized that a famous smuggler, Jack Ratterbury, was operating there exactly when my story was taking place! That  wasn't going to work with my book, in which there already was a local smuggling  master, "Captain Drake." Strangely enough, a previous Captain Drake, Melchisedeck Clyst,  had semi-retired and run a pub there, as Rattenbury was in 1816 in Beer.

Beer My solution was simple — I renamed the location, but Dragon's Cove is Beer, and when you look at this picture of the Beer headland,  imagine Crag Wyvern up there, a bizarre house built to look like a medieval keep.

Mary Jo Putney journeyed through the Outer Hebrides : I've never had a story kicked off by a particular place, but setting is really important to me, and I've certainly had scenes and Black houses 2 settings inspired by places I've been.  Many years ago, before I started writing, I visited the Outer Hebrides island of Harris and Lewis, and we visited a crumbled, deserted village that was all blackhouses.  This is a primitive form of building with dry stone construction and thatched roofs and absolutely no creature comforts.  Smoke from a peat fire formed a layer in the air before making its way out of a hole in the middle of the roof.  Often people lived at one end and animals at the other.  You can Shattered rainbows see why people abandoned them when better became available!

All the blackhouses in the little village had fallen into ruin, with remnants of walls and tumbled rocks and long fallen beams.  I thought at the time it would be a great setting for a romantic suspense chase scene, with lots of places for the hunted to hide.  And sure enough, that's what happened to my poor hero and heroine in my historical, SHATTERED RAINBOWS.  Bits and pieces of places like this are always showing up in my stories.  Not only is this fun, it's why writers can take tax deductions on research trips.

Pat Rice was enchanted by France: This doesn't happen to me often. As you say, I usually start with character and maybe a situation.  So I probably had a psychotic moment while traveling with a busload of hormonal teenagers through France… 

But as we drove through the French countryside, passing magnificent palaces and fields and valleys, we FrenchForest also passed a beautiful forest on a distant hill. Not the chaotic confusion of our American forests but what was probably a planned planting since the trees were mostly the same height, although I didn't see an end to them.  And for whatever reason, I saw a silent young woman among those trees, one with silver hair looking almost ethereal, carrying a basket of flowers. From that sighting emerged the book THE SILVER ENCHANTRESS, one of my real oldies.

Lundy2 Nicola Cornick dreamed of islands: When I first read the question I thought "that never happens to me; I start with character, or occasionally a plot idea." But actually when I started to think about it I realised that I am frequently inspired by location. One example is from one of my oldies, LADY ALLERTON'S WAGER. The wager in question is made between a lord and a lady over possession of an island called Fairhaven which had been in her family for centuries but had been lost in a game of chance. She plays the hero for the island and wins but then he reneges on the bet. Fairhaven was inspired by Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, a place I have visited several times. It's remote, stunningly beautiful and packed with intriguing history. The medieval castle has been converted into three apartments and staying there is a fabulous treat!

More recently I was inspired by a trip to Spitsbergen in the Arctic. I was stunned by the beauty of the Spitsbergen landscape and remember feeling that I absolutely had to set a book there. When I read about the history of the island and discovered what an important role it had in the voyages of exploration at the start of the nineteenth century I began to visualise my hero, a rugged Naval captain and explorer, a reluctant celebrity  who was impatient with the ways of polite Regency society. I'm very excited about WHISPER OF SCANDAL, which comes out later this year and kicks off a new series of mine with unusual backgrounds or settings.

Thank you for giving us all the opportunity to dwell on some of our favorite settings, Cheryl. Now it's over to all of you. Is there a place you've visited and were struck by what a marvellous setting it would make for a story?   Do you have any favorite books when it comes to unusual locations?

105 thoughts on “Ask A Wench: It Started with a Place…”

  1. Hi wordwenches – great to meet you – I visited your site from Facebook. My favourite place in the UK is the Lake District where the beautiful lakes, hills and ancient villages inspired my first two books. I also love Corsica for its dramatic unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and turbulent history! I’ve written two books set there.
    Waves to Nicola… P xxx

    Reply
  2. Hi wordwenches – great to meet you – I visited your site from Facebook. My favourite place in the UK is the Lake District where the beautiful lakes, hills and ancient villages inspired my first two books. I also love Corsica for its dramatic unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and turbulent history! I’ve written two books set there.
    Waves to Nicola… P xxx

    Reply
  3. Hi wordwenches – great to meet you – I visited your site from Facebook. My favourite place in the UK is the Lake District where the beautiful lakes, hills and ancient villages inspired my first two books. I also love Corsica for its dramatic unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and turbulent history! I’ve written two books set there.
    Waves to Nicola… P xxx

    Reply
  4. Hi wordwenches – great to meet you – I visited your site from Facebook. My favourite place in the UK is the Lake District where the beautiful lakes, hills and ancient villages inspired my first two books. I also love Corsica for its dramatic unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and turbulent history! I’ve written two books set there.
    Waves to Nicola… P xxx

    Reply
  5. Hi wordwenches – great to meet you – I visited your site from Facebook. My favourite place in the UK is the Lake District where the beautiful lakes, hills and ancient villages inspired my first two books. I also love Corsica for its dramatic unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and turbulent history! I’ve written two books set there.
    Waves to Nicola… P xxx

    Reply
  6. What a great question, and fascinating answers. I’ve mined a visit to Dorset a bit, particularly the village of Piddletrenthide, whose name I absolutely love. I’ve set a book there (changing the name of the village to something less amusing), but the River Piddle plays a role!
    But most of my visits to the UK occurred long before I started to write, and my memory is just atrocious. Must go again for inspiration!

    Reply
  7. What a great question, and fascinating answers. I’ve mined a visit to Dorset a bit, particularly the village of Piddletrenthide, whose name I absolutely love. I’ve set a book there (changing the name of the village to something less amusing), but the River Piddle plays a role!
    But most of my visits to the UK occurred long before I started to write, and my memory is just atrocious. Must go again for inspiration!

    Reply
  8. What a great question, and fascinating answers. I’ve mined a visit to Dorset a bit, particularly the village of Piddletrenthide, whose name I absolutely love. I’ve set a book there (changing the name of the village to something less amusing), but the River Piddle plays a role!
    But most of my visits to the UK occurred long before I started to write, and my memory is just atrocious. Must go again for inspiration!

    Reply
  9. What a great question, and fascinating answers. I’ve mined a visit to Dorset a bit, particularly the village of Piddletrenthide, whose name I absolutely love. I’ve set a book there (changing the name of the village to something less amusing), but the River Piddle plays a role!
    But most of my visits to the UK occurred long before I started to write, and my memory is just atrocious. Must go again for inspiration!

    Reply
  10. What a great question, and fascinating answers. I’ve mined a visit to Dorset a bit, particularly the village of Piddletrenthide, whose name I absolutely love. I’ve set a book there (changing the name of the village to something less amusing), but the River Piddle plays a role!
    But most of my visits to the UK occurred long before I started to write, and my memory is just atrocious. Must go again for inspiration!

    Reply
  11. The location of a book is important. While I hate to travel, I love books set in places unfamiliar to me. I especially like books that describe the location so well you can see it. Books like that are a feast because you “see” the scenery, as well as “feeling” the emotions of the characters. You can get both only in a book.

    Reply
  12. The location of a book is important. While I hate to travel, I love books set in places unfamiliar to me. I especially like books that describe the location so well you can see it. Books like that are a feast because you “see” the scenery, as well as “feeling” the emotions of the characters. You can get both only in a book.

    Reply
  13. The location of a book is important. While I hate to travel, I love books set in places unfamiliar to me. I especially like books that describe the location so well you can see it. Books like that are a feast because you “see” the scenery, as well as “feeling” the emotions of the characters. You can get both only in a book.

    Reply
  14. The location of a book is important. While I hate to travel, I love books set in places unfamiliar to me. I especially like books that describe the location so well you can see it. Books like that are a feast because you “see” the scenery, as well as “feeling” the emotions of the characters. You can get both only in a book.

    Reply
  15. The location of a book is important. While I hate to travel, I love books set in places unfamiliar to me. I especially like books that describe the location so well you can see it. Books like that are a feast because you “see” the scenery, as well as “feeling” the emotions of the characters. You can get both only in a book.

    Reply
  16. I haven’t been any place exotic and the few places I’ve been in the US where I’ve spent any time seem to be the usual settings…NYC, Vegas, that sort of thing. But every year, we spend time in a little spot at the tip of the thumb here, Caseville, which I’ve always thought would be a good starting point for a story. It’s small though. Very small.
    I’m more inclined to want to start stories based on events. I’ve got a ton of notes for one based on the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

    Reply
  17. I haven’t been any place exotic and the few places I’ve been in the US where I’ve spent any time seem to be the usual settings…NYC, Vegas, that sort of thing. But every year, we spend time in a little spot at the tip of the thumb here, Caseville, which I’ve always thought would be a good starting point for a story. It’s small though. Very small.
    I’m more inclined to want to start stories based on events. I’ve got a ton of notes for one based on the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

    Reply
  18. I haven’t been any place exotic and the few places I’ve been in the US where I’ve spent any time seem to be the usual settings…NYC, Vegas, that sort of thing. But every year, we spend time in a little spot at the tip of the thumb here, Caseville, which I’ve always thought would be a good starting point for a story. It’s small though. Very small.
    I’m more inclined to want to start stories based on events. I’ve got a ton of notes for one based on the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

    Reply
  19. I haven’t been any place exotic and the few places I’ve been in the US where I’ve spent any time seem to be the usual settings…NYC, Vegas, that sort of thing. But every year, we spend time in a little spot at the tip of the thumb here, Caseville, which I’ve always thought would be a good starting point for a story. It’s small though. Very small.
    I’m more inclined to want to start stories based on events. I’ve got a ton of notes for one based on the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

    Reply
  20. I haven’t been any place exotic and the few places I’ve been in the US where I’ve spent any time seem to be the usual settings…NYC, Vegas, that sort of thing. But every year, we spend time in a little spot at the tip of the thumb here, Caseville, which I’ve always thought would be a good starting point for a story. It’s small though. Very small.
    I’m more inclined to want to start stories based on events. I’ve got a ton of notes for one based on the Galveston hurricane of 1900.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for dropping in, Phillipa! I’ve enjoyed your Lake District books very much and really liked the fabulous setting. I love the thought of Corsica as a background as well.
    LOl, Maggie, the River Piddle always raises a smile! There are so many extraordinary village names in the UK!

    Reply
  22. Thanks for dropping in, Phillipa! I’ve enjoyed your Lake District books very much and really liked the fabulous setting. I love the thought of Corsica as a background as well.
    LOl, Maggie, the River Piddle always raises a smile! There are so many extraordinary village names in the UK!

    Reply
  23. Thanks for dropping in, Phillipa! I’ve enjoyed your Lake District books very much and really liked the fabulous setting. I love the thought of Corsica as a background as well.
    LOl, Maggie, the River Piddle always raises a smile! There are so many extraordinary village names in the UK!

    Reply
  24. Thanks for dropping in, Phillipa! I’ve enjoyed your Lake District books very much and really liked the fabulous setting. I love the thought of Corsica as a background as well.
    LOl, Maggie, the River Piddle always raises a smile! There are so many extraordinary village names in the UK!

    Reply
  25. Thanks for dropping in, Phillipa! I’ve enjoyed your Lake District books very much and really liked the fabulous setting. I love the thought of Corsica as a background as well.
    LOl, Maggie, the River Piddle always raises a smile! There are so many extraordinary village names in the UK!

    Reply
  26. I love English village names! Maggie, did you ever try pronouncing that tongue twister? “G”
    Great post, Nicola, and thanks for finding all the lovely pics to go with it. I suppose one of these days I ought to see if it’s possible to scan those old photos into a computer…

    Reply
  27. I love English village names! Maggie, did you ever try pronouncing that tongue twister? “G”
    Great post, Nicola, and thanks for finding all the lovely pics to go with it. I suppose one of these days I ought to see if it’s possible to scan those old photos into a computer…

    Reply
  28. I love English village names! Maggie, did you ever try pronouncing that tongue twister? “G”
    Great post, Nicola, and thanks for finding all the lovely pics to go with it. I suppose one of these days I ought to see if it’s possible to scan those old photos into a computer…

    Reply
  29. I love English village names! Maggie, did you ever try pronouncing that tongue twister? “G”
    Great post, Nicola, and thanks for finding all the lovely pics to go with it. I suppose one of these days I ought to see if it’s possible to scan those old photos into a computer…

    Reply
  30. I love English village names! Maggie, did you ever try pronouncing that tongue twister? “G”
    Great post, Nicola, and thanks for finding all the lovely pics to go with it. I suppose one of these days I ought to see if it’s possible to scan those old photos into a computer…

    Reply
  31. Thanks for spearheading this fascinating post, Nicola. I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s inspirations . . .and now have even more wonderful places to add to my “To Be Visited” list. Now, I just need to fina a billionaire friend with a private jet. Hey, anyone want to create a world-traveling hero who needs a bevy of Wenches to write stories to keep him amused during the trip? LOL

    Reply
  32. Thanks for spearheading this fascinating post, Nicola. I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s inspirations . . .and now have even more wonderful places to add to my “To Be Visited” list. Now, I just need to fina a billionaire friend with a private jet. Hey, anyone want to create a world-traveling hero who needs a bevy of Wenches to write stories to keep him amused during the trip? LOL

    Reply
  33. Thanks for spearheading this fascinating post, Nicola. I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s inspirations . . .and now have even more wonderful places to add to my “To Be Visited” list. Now, I just need to fina a billionaire friend with a private jet. Hey, anyone want to create a world-traveling hero who needs a bevy of Wenches to write stories to keep him amused during the trip? LOL

    Reply
  34. Thanks for spearheading this fascinating post, Nicola. I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s inspirations . . .and now have even more wonderful places to add to my “To Be Visited” list. Now, I just need to fina a billionaire friend with a private jet. Hey, anyone want to create a world-traveling hero who needs a bevy of Wenches to write stories to keep him amused during the trip? LOL

    Reply
  35. Thanks for spearheading this fascinating post, Nicola. I really enjoyed reading about everyone’s inspirations . . .and now have even more wonderful places to add to my “To Be Visited” list. Now, I just need to fina a billionaire friend with a private jet. Hey, anyone want to create a world-traveling hero who needs a bevy of Wenches to write stories to keep him amused during the trip? LOL

    Reply
  36. Cara, that’s sounding a bit too much like Bluebeard. Keep telling me stories, Wenches, or I crash the plane!
    Very interesting to read about everyone’s inspirations.
    Thanks, Nicola,
    Jo

    Reply
  37. Cara, that’s sounding a bit too much like Bluebeard. Keep telling me stories, Wenches, or I crash the plane!
    Very interesting to read about everyone’s inspirations.
    Thanks, Nicola,
    Jo

    Reply
  38. Cara, that’s sounding a bit too much like Bluebeard. Keep telling me stories, Wenches, or I crash the plane!
    Very interesting to read about everyone’s inspirations.
    Thanks, Nicola,
    Jo

    Reply
  39. Cara, that’s sounding a bit too much like Bluebeard. Keep telling me stories, Wenches, or I crash the plane!
    Very interesting to read about everyone’s inspirations.
    Thanks, Nicola,
    Jo

    Reply
  40. Cara, that’s sounding a bit too much like Bluebeard. Keep telling me stories, Wenches, or I crash the plane!
    Very interesting to read about everyone’s inspirations.
    Thanks, Nicola,
    Jo

    Reply
  41. I would like to say as a reader and reviewer thanks for being inspired by these great places. By writing the wonderful books you do I feel as if I am standing there with the characters feeling the wind in my face the sun on the skin and see the green of the valleys as they flow by. It is your words that help those who are less traveled think we have been there an hope to some day, maybe get there.
    It is amazing to also read your thoughts on where the inspiration comes from.
    Wonderful way to start the week!

    Reply
  42. I would like to say as a reader and reviewer thanks for being inspired by these great places. By writing the wonderful books you do I feel as if I am standing there with the characters feeling the wind in my face the sun on the skin and see the green of the valleys as they flow by. It is your words that help those who are less traveled think we have been there an hope to some day, maybe get there.
    It is amazing to also read your thoughts on where the inspiration comes from.
    Wonderful way to start the week!

    Reply
  43. I would like to say as a reader and reviewer thanks for being inspired by these great places. By writing the wonderful books you do I feel as if I am standing there with the characters feeling the wind in my face the sun on the skin and see the green of the valleys as they flow by. It is your words that help those who are less traveled think we have been there an hope to some day, maybe get there.
    It is amazing to also read your thoughts on where the inspiration comes from.
    Wonderful way to start the week!

    Reply
  44. I would like to say as a reader and reviewer thanks for being inspired by these great places. By writing the wonderful books you do I feel as if I am standing there with the characters feeling the wind in my face the sun on the skin and see the green of the valleys as they flow by. It is your words that help those who are less traveled think we have been there an hope to some day, maybe get there.
    It is amazing to also read your thoughts on where the inspiration comes from.
    Wonderful way to start the week!

    Reply
  45. I would like to say as a reader and reviewer thanks for being inspired by these great places. By writing the wonderful books you do I feel as if I am standing there with the characters feeling the wind in my face the sun on the skin and see the green of the valleys as they flow by. It is your words that help those who are less traveled think we have been there an hope to some day, maybe get there.
    It is amazing to also read your thoughts on where the inspiration comes from.
    Wonderful way to start the week!

    Reply
  46. Thank you, Wenches, for answering my question so beautifully! This was a fascinating article, and I feel honored that you chose to feature my question.
    Last year I visited England, and I loved seeing the locations of many of my favorite historical novels. It is not difficult to be inspired when surrounded by such history.
    My upcoming trip is to Greece. It is a dream trip for my husband and me. I am eager to immerse myself in the history, culture, and beauty of Greece. It is not surprising that Greece is the setting for so many books and movies.

    Reply
  47. Thank you, Wenches, for answering my question so beautifully! This was a fascinating article, and I feel honored that you chose to feature my question.
    Last year I visited England, and I loved seeing the locations of many of my favorite historical novels. It is not difficult to be inspired when surrounded by such history.
    My upcoming trip is to Greece. It is a dream trip for my husband and me. I am eager to immerse myself in the history, culture, and beauty of Greece. It is not surprising that Greece is the setting for so many books and movies.

    Reply
  48. Thank you, Wenches, for answering my question so beautifully! This was a fascinating article, and I feel honored that you chose to feature my question.
    Last year I visited England, and I loved seeing the locations of many of my favorite historical novels. It is not difficult to be inspired when surrounded by such history.
    My upcoming trip is to Greece. It is a dream trip for my husband and me. I am eager to immerse myself in the history, culture, and beauty of Greece. It is not surprising that Greece is the setting for so many books and movies.

    Reply
  49. Thank you, Wenches, for answering my question so beautifully! This was a fascinating article, and I feel honored that you chose to feature my question.
    Last year I visited England, and I loved seeing the locations of many of my favorite historical novels. It is not difficult to be inspired when surrounded by such history.
    My upcoming trip is to Greece. It is a dream trip for my husband and me. I am eager to immerse myself in the history, culture, and beauty of Greece. It is not surprising that Greece is the setting for so many books and movies.

    Reply
  50. Thank you, Wenches, for answering my question so beautifully! This was a fascinating article, and I feel honored that you chose to feature my question.
    Last year I visited England, and I loved seeing the locations of many of my favorite historical novels. It is not difficult to be inspired when surrounded by such history.
    My upcoming trip is to Greece. It is a dream trip for my husband and me. I am eager to immerse myself in the history, culture, and beauty of Greece. It is not surprising that Greece is the setting for so many books and movies.

    Reply
  51. We’re a well traveled set of Wenches! I know a writer who has written over 100 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, and she travels a LOT! When the IRS questioned her once, she said, “I can’t set all my books in COlumbia, Maryland.” And as she also said, you don’t always know if a setting will work until you visit. The IRS backed down. *g*

    Reply
  52. We’re a well traveled set of Wenches! I know a writer who has written over 100 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, and she travels a LOT! When the IRS questioned her once, she said, “I can’t set all my books in COlumbia, Maryland.” And as she also said, you don’t always know if a setting will work until you visit. The IRS backed down. *g*

    Reply
  53. We’re a well traveled set of Wenches! I know a writer who has written over 100 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, and she travels a LOT! When the IRS questioned her once, she said, “I can’t set all my books in COlumbia, Maryland.” And as she also said, you don’t always know if a setting will work until you visit. The IRS backed down. *g*

    Reply
  54. We’re a well traveled set of Wenches! I know a writer who has written over 100 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, and she travels a LOT! When the IRS questioned her once, she said, “I can’t set all my books in COlumbia, Maryland.” And as she also said, you don’t always know if a setting will work until you visit. The IRS backed down. *g*

    Reply
  55. We’re a well traveled set of Wenches! I know a writer who has written over 100 contemporary romances and romantic suspense novels, and she travels a LOT! When the IRS questioned her once, she said, “I can’t set all my books in COlumbia, Maryland.” And as she also said, you don’t always know if a setting will work until you visit. The IRS backed down. *g*

    Reply
  56. Finding out where Wenches get their inspiration is fascinating! I love diversity in books, and I’m so glad that our current Regencies aren’t limited to England only. I do love England, as a setting, but welcome foreign settings as a nice change of pace.
    Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase have done books set in Egypt, and I’ve found that Egypt has suddenly become an interest of mine as a result.
    I think many readers don’t realize the amount of research a writer does (nor do they realize how easy it is for a writer to meander down fascinating paths totally unrelated to the research!).

    Reply
  57. Finding out where Wenches get their inspiration is fascinating! I love diversity in books, and I’m so glad that our current Regencies aren’t limited to England only. I do love England, as a setting, but welcome foreign settings as a nice change of pace.
    Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase have done books set in Egypt, and I’ve found that Egypt has suddenly become an interest of mine as a result.
    I think many readers don’t realize the amount of research a writer does (nor do they realize how easy it is for a writer to meander down fascinating paths totally unrelated to the research!).

    Reply
  58. Finding out where Wenches get their inspiration is fascinating! I love diversity in books, and I’m so glad that our current Regencies aren’t limited to England only. I do love England, as a setting, but welcome foreign settings as a nice change of pace.
    Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase have done books set in Egypt, and I’ve found that Egypt has suddenly become an interest of mine as a result.
    I think many readers don’t realize the amount of research a writer does (nor do they realize how easy it is for a writer to meander down fascinating paths totally unrelated to the research!).

    Reply
  59. Finding out where Wenches get their inspiration is fascinating! I love diversity in books, and I’m so glad that our current Regencies aren’t limited to England only. I do love England, as a setting, but welcome foreign settings as a nice change of pace.
    Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase have done books set in Egypt, and I’ve found that Egypt has suddenly become an interest of mine as a result.
    I think many readers don’t realize the amount of research a writer does (nor do they realize how easy it is for a writer to meander down fascinating paths totally unrelated to the research!).

    Reply
  60. Finding out where Wenches get their inspiration is fascinating! I love diversity in books, and I’m so glad that our current Regencies aren’t limited to England only. I do love England, as a setting, but welcome foreign settings as a nice change of pace.
    Anne Gracie and Loretta Chase have done books set in Egypt, and I’ve found that Egypt has suddenly become an interest of mine as a result.
    I think many readers don’t realize the amount of research a writer does (nor do they realize how easy it is for a writer to meander down fascinating paths totally unrelated to the research!).

    Reply
  61. I haven’t gone anywhere really but last Summer I did stay at the Chautauqua Institue and the place screamed history! The entire place was built over 100 years ago. The house were beautiful. We stayed at the oldest all wood hotel in the US. I hope to stay there again some day.

    Reply
  62. I haven’t gone anywhere really but last Summer I did stay at the Chautauqua Institue and the place screamed history! The entire place was built over 100 years ago. The house were beautiful. We stayed at the oldest all wood hotel in the US. I hope to stay there again some day.

    Reply
  63. I haven’t gone anywhere really but last Summer I did stay at the Chautauqua Institue and the place screamed history! The entire place was built over 100 years ago. The house were beautiful. We stayed at the oldest all wood hotel in the US. I hope to stay there again some day.

    Reply
  64. I haven’t gone anywhere really but last Summer I did stay at the Chautauqua Institue and the place screamed history! The entire place was built over 100 years ago. The house were beautiful. We stayed at the oldest all wood hotel in the US. I hope to stay there again some day.

    Reply
  65. I haven’t gone anywhere really but last Summer I did stay at the Chautauqua Institue and the place screamed history! The entire place was built over 100 years ago. The house were beautiful. We stayed at the oldest all wood hotel in the US. I hope to stay there again some day.

    Reply
  66. I think Cara’s idea has more of the One Thousand and One Nights about it than Bluebeard.
    I’ve written a story partly set in Constantinople, a city I know quite well – but as Istanbul now, of course. When I was a small child I just loved the sound of the word ‘Constantinople’. The reality is just as magical as I ever hoped – but my Turkish husband came from Ankara and he would never admit Istanbul was better. Anyway, I’ve been in heaven creating a Regency tale set in Constantinople.

    Reply
  67. I think Cara’s idea has more of the One Thousand and One Nights about it than Bluebeard.
    I’ve written a story partly set in Constantinople, a city I know quite well – but as Istanbul now, of course. When I was a small child I just loved the sound of the word ‘Constantinople’. The reality is just as magical as I ever hoped – but my Turkish husband came from Ankara and he would never admit Istanbul was better. Anyway, I’ve been in heaven creating a Regency tale set in Constantinople.

    Reply
  68. I think Cara’s idea has more of the One Thousand and One Nights about it than Bluebeard.
    I’ve written a story partly set in Constantinople, a city I know quite well – but as Istanbul now, of course. When I was a small child I just loved the sound of the word ‘Constantinople’. The reality is just as magical as I ever hoped – but my Turkish husband came from Ankara and he would never admit Istanbul was better. Anyway, I’ve been in heaven creating a Regency tale set in Constantinople.

    Reply
  69. I think Cara’s idea has more of the One Thousand and One Nights about it than Bluebeard.
    I’ve written a story partly set in Constantinople, a city I know quite well – but as Istanbul now, of course. When I was a small child I just loved the sound of the word ‘Constantinople’. The reality is just as magical as I ever hoped – but my Turkish husband came from Ankara and he would never admit Istanbul was better. Anyway, I’ve been in heaven creating a Regency tale set in Constantinople.

    Reply
  70. I think Cara’s idea has more of the One Thousand and One Nights about it than Bluebeard.
    I’ve written a story partly set in Constantinople, a city I know quite well – but as Istanbul now, of course. When I was a small child I just loved the sound of the word ‘Constantinople’. The reality is just as magical as I ever hoped – but my Turkish husband came from Ankara and he would never admit Istanbul was better. Anyway, I’ve been in heaven creating a Regency tale set in Constantinople.

    Reply
  71. I’m looking forward to that one, Beth! Interesting how some place names conjure up such feelings in us. When I was a child I wanted to go to Bulawayo, Medicine Hat and various other places whose names enchanted me.

    Reply
  72. I’m looking forward to that one, Beth! Interesting how some place names conjure up such feelings in us. When I was a child I wanted to go to Bulawayo, Medicine Hat and various other places whose names enchanted me.

    Reply
  73. I’m looking forward to that one, Beth! Interesting how some place names conjure up such feelings in us. When I was a child I wanted to go to Bulawayo, Medicine Hat and various other places whose names enchanted me.

    Reply
  74. I’m looking forward to that one, Beth! Interesting how some place names conjure up such feelings in us. When I was a child I wanted to go to Bulawayo, Medicine Hat and various other places whose names enchanted me.

    Reply
  75. I’m looking forward to that one, Beth! Interesting how some place names conjure up such feelings in us. When I was a child I wanted to go to Bulawayo, Medicine Hat and various other places whose names enchanted me.

    Reply
  76. Dear Word Wenches,
    Are there any successful writers who started over the age of 60?
    Recently I read about a lady in her 90s who wrote a sizzling romance because she was desperate to get herself and some lady friends out of their nursing home and into a house of their own.

    Reply
  77. Dear Word Wenches,
    Are there any successful writers who started over the age of 60?
    Recently I read about a lady in her 90s who wrote a sizzling romance because she was desperate to get herself and some lady friends out of their nursing home and into a house of their own.

    Reply
  78. Dear Word Wenches,
    Are there any successful writers who started over the age of 60?
    Recently I read about a lady in her 90s who wrote a sizzling romance because she was desperate to get herself and some lady friends out of their nursing home and into a house of their own.

    Reply
  79. Dear Word Wenches,
    Are there any successful writers who started over the age of 60?
    Recently I read about a lady in her 90s who wrote a sizzling romance because she was desperate to get herself and some lady friends out of their nursing home and into a house of their own.

    Reply
  80. Dear Word Wenches,
    Are there any successful writers who started over the age of 60?
    Recently I read about a lady in her 90s who wrote a sizzling romance because she was desperate to get herself and some lady friends out of their nursing home and into a house of their own.

    Reply
  81. Great question from Cheryl and fun responses from the Word Wenches! Cara already mentioned my favorite inspiring locale – Dartmoor. My grandmother lived in Torquay near Dartmoor. Each summer, she treated me to picnics on the moor and stories of the “Enchanted Forest” where the Pixies lived. As an adult, my family lived in lived in the Netherlands. We drove to England via the Chunnel just so my boys could have the same memories. I did not read Sherlock Holmes until I met my husband and I became a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years ago, hubby and I traveled to Devon just to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps on Dartmoor. We even stopped by Bovie Castle, which inspired Cara/Andrea for The Spy Who Wore Silk (one of the reasons why I am now a Cara Elliott fan!)
    As much as I adore the British Isles, I am becoming a fan of Hawaii’s contradictions in landscape. We just spent a week on the Big Island of Hawaii for Spring Break. We discovered:
    – the snow capped Moana Kea (White Mountain)
    – the barren wilderness between Moana Kea and Moana Loa (Long Mountain)
    – the tropical forests on the windward side (near Hilo)
    – the lava fields on the leeward side (near Kona).
    It was a perfect setting for a romance – historical, contemporary, paranormal, or urban fantasy!

    Reply
  82. Great question from Cheryl and fun responses from the Word Wenches! Cara already mentioned my favorite inspiring locale – Dartmoor. My grandmother lived in Torquay near Dartmoor. Each summer, she treated me to picnics on the moor and stories of the “Enchanted Forest” where the Pixies lived. As an adult, my family lived in lived in the Netherlands. We drove to England via the Chunnel just so my boys could have the same memories. I did not read Sherlock Holmes until I met my husband and I became a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years ago, hubby and I traveled to Devon just to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps on Dartmoor. We even stopped by Bovie Castle, which inspired Cara/Andrea for The Spy Who Wore Silk (one of the reasons why I am now a Cara Elliott fan!)
    As much as I adore the British Isles, I am becoming a fan of Hawaii’s contradictions in landscape. We just spent a week on the Big Island of Hawaii for Spring Break. We discovered:
    – the snow capped Moana Kea (White Mountain)
    – the barren wilderness between Moana Kea and Moana Loa (Long Mountain)
    – the tropical forests on the windward side (near Hilo)
    – the lava fields on the leeward side (near Kona).
    It was a perfect setting for a romance – historical, contemporary, paranormal, or urban fantasy!

    Reply
  83. Great question from Cheryl and fun responses from the Word Wenches! Cara already mentioned my favorite inspiring locale – Dartmoor. My grandmother lived in Torquay near Dartmoor. Each summer, she treated me to picnics on the moor and stories of the “Enchanted Forest” where the Pixies lived. As an adult, my family lived in lived in the Netherlands. We drove to England via the Chunnel just so my boys could have the same memories. I did not read Sherlock Holmes until I met my husband and I became a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years ago, hubby and I traveled to Devon just to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps on Dartmoor. We even stopped by Bovie Castle, which inspired Cara/Andrea for The Spy Who Wore Silk (one of the reasons why I am now a Cara Elliott fan!)
    As much as I adore the British Isles, I am becoming a fan of Hawaii’s contradictions in landscape. We just spent a week on the Big Island of Hawaii for Spring Break. We discovered:
    – the snow capped Moana Kea (White Mountain)
    – the barren wilderness between Moana Kea and Moana Loa (Long Mountain)
    – the tropical forests on the windward side (near Hilo)
    – the lava fields on the leeward side (near Kona).
    It was a perfect setting for a romance – historical, contemporary, paranormal, or urban fantasy!

    Reply
  84. Great question from Cheryl and fun responses from the Word Wenches! Cara already mentioned my favorite inspiring locale – Dartmoor. My grandmother lived in Torquay near Dartmoor. Each summer, she treated me to picnics on the moor and stories of the “Enchanted Forest” where the Pixies lived. As an adult, my family lived in lived in the Netherlands. We drove to England via the Chunnel just so my boys could have the same memories. I did not read Sherlock Holmes until I met my husband and I became a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years ago, hubby and I traveled to Devon just to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps on Dartmoor. We even stopped by Bovie Castle, which inspired Cara/Andrea for The Spy Who Wore Silk (one of the reasons why I am now a Cara Elliott fan!)
    As much as I adore the British Isles, I am becoming a fan of Hawaii’s contradictions in landscape. We just spent a week on the Big Island of Hawaii for Spring Break. We discovered:
    – the snow capped Moana Kea (White Mountain)
    – the barren wilderness between Moana Kea and Moana Loa (Long Mountain)
    – the tropical forests on the windward side (near Hilo)
    – the lava fields on the leeward side (near Kona).
    It was a perfect setting for a romance – historical, contemporary, paranormal, or urban fantasy!

    Reply
  85. Great question from Cheryl and fun responses from the Word Wenches! Cara already mentioned my favorite inspiring locale – Dartmoor. My grandmother lived in Torquay near Dartmoor. Each summer, she treated me to picnics on the moor and stories of the “Enchanted Forest” where the Pixies lived. As an adult, my family lived in lived in the Netherlands. We drove to England via the Chunnel just so my boys could have the same memories. I did not read Sherlock Holmes until I met my husband and I became a fan of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Two years ago, hubby and I traveled to Devon just to retrace Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s steps on Dartmoor. We even stopped by Bovie Castle, which inspired Cara/Andrea for The Spy Who Wore Silk (one of the reasons why I am now a Cara Elliott fan!)
    As much as I adore the British Isles, I am becoming a fan of Hawaii’s contradictions in landscape. We just spent a week on the Big Island of Hawaii for Spring Break. We discovered:
    – the snow capped Moana Kea (White Mountain)
    – the barren wilderness between Moana Kea and Moana Loa (Long Mountain)
    – the tropical forests on the windward side (near Hilo)
    – the lava fields on the leeward side (near Kona).
    It was a perfect setting for a romance – historical, contemporary, paranormal, or urban fantasy!

    Reply
  86. Wendy, that’s a great story! In the UK the most well known older author is Mary Wesley who started writing in her 80s and was hugely successful and hugely racy! She drew on her youth in the 1920s, apparently.
    Kim, the way you describe Hawaii’s landscape makes me long to go there! Definitely one day!

    Reply
  87. Wendy, that’s a great story! In the UK the most well known older author is Mary Wesley who started writing in her 80s and was hugely successful and hugely racy! She drew on her youth in the 1920s, apparently.
    Kim, the way you describe Hawaii’s landscape makes me long to go there! Definitely one day!

    Reply
  88. Wendy, that’s a great story! In the UK the most well known older author is Mary Wesley who started writing in her 80s and was hugely successful and hugely racy! She drew on her youth in the 1920s, apparently.
    Kim, the way you describe Hawaii’s landscape makes me long to go there! Definitely one day!

    Reply
  89. Wendy, that’s a great story! In the UK the most well known older author is Mary Wesley who started writing in her 80s and was hugely successful and hugely racy! She drew on her youth in the 1920s, apparently.
    Kim, the way you describe Hawaii’s landscape makes me long to go there! Definitely one day!

    Reply
  90. Wendy, that’s a great story! In the UK the most well known older author is Mary Wesley who started writing in her 80s and was hugely successful and hugely racy! She drew on her youth in the 1920s, apparently.
    Kim, the way you describe Hawaii’s landscape makes me long to go there! Definitely one day!

    Reply

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