I read a lot of Mary Stewart books when I was growing up, around the age of twelve. Recently I’ve been re-reading a couple of them, and I’m just now realizing the extent of the influence she had on my writing. She wrote mystery/thrillers with a romantic element, and richly-described, often exotic, locations.
Whether because I just hadn’t experienced as much, or because my imagination was more active and open when I was a teenager, books, movies, and music from that time had a much bigger impact on me than they do now. I’m guessing that’s pretty normal. I knew that Mary Stewart’s books set in Greece (My Brother Michael, The Moonspinners, This Rough Magic) made me really want to visit Greece, which I finally got to do in 2013. I’ve included a couple pictures from that trip. Continue reading Me and Mary Stewart→
I love to use different locations in my writing. Some are places I’ve been, and some are places I wish I could go. A major location in my current book-in-progress is Mali. Mali is a country in West Africa, whose northern half lies in the Sahara Desert, and is home to the fabled Timbuktu. The Niger River runs through Mali from the south, through the capital city Bamako, up through Timbuktu and then east through the northern city of Gao, then into neighboring Niger. Continue reading On Location: Mali→
One of my favorite action/thriller conventions is the frequently changing exotic locations. I love to see new places, and I’ve used both places I’ve been and places I wish I could go in my writing. I like to imagine that someday I’ll be forced to travel to research for a book. Oh, the horror! Off to Italy to take notes for the next novel… Continue reading The Vacationing Writer→