Travel Inspires Romance Novels

Between my old “day job” and my inherited wanderlust feet, I’ve done a great deal of traveling–and can’t wait to get out and do some more! Travel gives me a broader perspective and helps me come up with new ideas for plots and characters for my romance novels.

Inspiration for a romance  novel on the Bitterroot River.Travel doesn’t have to be far. My husband and I took a walk a few weeks ago and I snapped this photo on the Bitterroot River. A romance novel could evolve from this picture. Or a romantic suspense. What if the fisherman found a dead body? Or a woman crying by the river? What happens then?

Or maybe he’s the villain in the piece?  Let your imagination run wild. I know I will. Once I’m done with my California Romance series, I know I’m thinking about a series set in my home state of Montana.  I’m just not sure where exactly to place it.

Inspiration for romantic suspense

A traveler could break down near this hardscrabble ranch on Montana’s Eastern Front. Will she find welcome or danger? Maybe she could help the son bring the ranch back to life and discover love in the process.

Grizzly bear paw print inspires romantic suspense

A grizzly bear paw print definitely leads to romantic suspense.  For the man or woman? What if its a woman and her child and the rescuer is a forest ranger?  Or a nerdy scientist from the University of Montana? So many possibilities…

Make sure you always have a good book when you travel, as well as lots of paper to make notes and a camera. Take some time to stop and see, really see, the amazing world around us.

As writers, we hope to evoke the world around us or invent worlds of our own for you to visit for a while.

Fishercap Lake, Glacier National ParkOne of my favorite places is Glacier National Park. Sooner or later I know I’ll have a story that takes place in that craggy country.  There are plenty of animals to invite into my stories, including the bull moose in the lake to the left.

California Romance beach

In the meantime stop by and visit the land I’ve created in the California Romance series (California Sunset and California Wine). Costanoa is quite beautiful this time of year.


Finding the time to write – your secret weapon

9781440557286Last weekend, I headed south to attend the North Louisiana Romance Writer’s chapter conference, NOLA’s Written in the Stars. My topic? Time management or finding the time to write.

We’re all busy. If you’re not, you should be writing.  No excuses. (grin)

But for those of us who juggle day jobs, families, household chores,and an occasional workout, time is hard to come by.  Or at least time when your refreshed and creative.

So here are a few best practices that came from the workshop

-Set a writing appointment with yourself.  Treat this like you would your doctor appointment.  Just do it.

-Plan ahead for your writing.  Plot, prepare, and set up your family with dinner before you set down for your writing time.

-Use hot tea, or a lighted candle, or mood music to get your muse in the room.

-Get up an hour earlier each day to write.

-Stay off the computer while you write.

So what are your best time management skills? Share with the group.