on inspiration…

Palm trees. Oaks dripping with Spanish moss. The Lady & Sons. Fried green tomatoes. Shelley’s cooking. Southern hospitality.

Savannah historic district

I just returned from a short vacation in Savannah, Georgia. I would love to have stayed there to soak in the atmosphere. Be inspired by the look and feel of the place. It’s a perfect place for mysteries or the paranormal. Of course, those are two genres I don’t write. But history. There’s so much history there! Hm…will have to think about that for a future historical fiction adventure.

The settings for my Star Wars stories were inspired by the California coastline between Big Sur and Monterey. Cliffs that dropped precipitously to the sea. Waves crashing against rocks. It’s similar to the coast of Cornwall in southwest England, which I didn’t realize when I wrote those stories. It is a place I’d only read about but never seen until 2008. Now it’s one of my favorite places on Earth.

St. Ives, Cornwall

St. Ives would work well as the location for Ariana on Garos IV, though it would look quite different. Ariana isn’t a small seaside community. No cozy fishermen’s cottages. It’s large, and dotted with government buildings. I can picture Imperial Headquarters on the hilltop overlooking the ocean and the city. It sure would be cool to see X-wings flying over St. Ives to land at the spaceport.

Readers – do you find inspiration in the places you live or visit? Writers out there – do real places inspire the settings of your stories?

  1. Marie Loughinm Avatar

    Hmmm. Not so far. Well, it depends on how you define “place.” The idea of the Great Depression, travel-by-train type of “hobo” inspired my first novel. That sort of hobo comes with a build-in setting: trains and train yards. But I was not inspired by a specific train yard.

    My next book will be set at a Renaissance Festival. That setting was inspired by the small, somewhat awkward RenFest in our area.

    Neither of these settings are based on physical landscape (cliffs, trees, mountains), though.

    1. Char Avatar

      I guess we can define “place” loosely. 🙂 Did you visit many train yards while you were writing Valknut: The Binding in order to get a feel for the sounds, smells, and look of those places?

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