Traveling Romance

ArizonaIf you subscribe to this sort of thing, I must have been a nomad in another life. I just can’t wait to find out what’s over the next hill. Or see what the shining lights are across that stretch of plains. If I’m home too long, I get the itch to travel. I get grouchy. I feel deprived. Weird, huh?

But I never leave home without my trusty ereader loaded with my latest TBR’s. After all, there might be some down time. It would be a shame to waste it not reading.

I read my first romance at twelve. It was Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I’m fairly certain it was the first thing I read that included any descriptions of England, islands, pirates, ball gowns and the way someone else might have lived that was so different from the way I lived. It truly swept me away. I’m still awed by the work she put into her novels. Although it wasn’t written for my age group, her attention to detail, her vivid and thorough descriptions were captivating. As a published author, thinking about them still makes me go, wow!

San FranciscoAnd when I travel, I try to catch those little details that will bring my work to life. The way one small town differs from another, the way one big city is so opposite another. The architecture, the landscaping, the town squares or skyscrapers, and the accents of the citizens. I look at houses or buildings and wonder who lives or works there. I want each thread carefully woven together to resonate with readers in the same manner as hers did with me.

SONY DSCBefore I could afford to travel, I went lots of places through romance novels. People can scoff as much as they want, but if all of the writers I know are any indication, you can pretty much count on the settings being based in reality, and the details being accurate. Not that we don’t have our way with a plot thread, but it is fiction after all. When I think of reading or writing, I think of big sweeping stories, and grand adventures that change lives. But with that grand adventure, I want the details that bring the setting to life.

The novels I’ve written thus far are set in America because that’s the place I’m most familiar with. I won’t say it’s easy, but it’s comfortable. And it’s a big, diverse place. Every time I travel I come up with more ideas for stories. I’m constantly taking pictures out the car window to keep for inspiration.SONY DSC

Do you have a favorite location you enjoy reading or writing about?

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

12 Responses to Traveling Romance

  1. I find I pay much closer attention to details now when I travel. (You never know what you can use in a book) LOL

  2. Sutton Fox says:

    Very true, Jennifer. Being able to soak up the feel of a place really helps. 🙂

  3. Bethanne says:

    I love that about romances. Especially some of the early ones… always in awesome settings! Sometimes, it seems like now, people are more apt to write in their own backyards… rather than other places.

  4. I have to say I pay closer attention to my destinations now. Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first taste of romance novels too – and I ate those books and their “exotic” locations up like candy back then. Thanks for reminding me how much they influenced me. 🙂

  5. Clarissa Yip says:

    I love traveling, just hate the aftereffect of being tired! My favorite place to read and write is the beach!

    • Sutton Fox says:

      Yeah, recovery isn’t as quick as it used to be for me. lol. I can see why you like the beach. I’ve never been to any in Hawaii, but they’re lovely in the photos. I bet in person they are just stunning!

  6. Kate Reedwood (@KateReedwood) says:

    I wish I could travel the world and see all the places I want to write about. But…having no money means I travel by the internet instead and glean details through pictures and blogs by people who have been to the places I’m interested in. Not the same as actually being there, but maybe one day I’ll win the lottery and fix that 🙂 Kathleen Woodiwiss’s books still stand up today. A tribute to a talented author.

    • Sutton Fox says:

      If you win the lottery, you have to come see me!! lol. You have a fantastic eye for detail, Kate. Speaking of talented authors, ahem, I can’t wait until your book come out. 🙂

  7. Nina Croft says:

    I loved Shanna!

    Contemporary romance I don’t mind where it’s set, but I love reading historical romances set in far away places – India, Scotland (well it’s quite far from me now!), pirates in the Caribbean!

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