The Gulf Coast is my home. Its miles of beaches and line of barrier islands, and countless winding bayous and bays have been an influence on me, and now I find it’s an important influence on my books.
I guess it’s true that we write what we know and love.
In ONCE IN A HALF MOON my hero is a charter boat captain who loves the freedom and beauty of the water. Boats have been part of my life as well, and I was fortunate enough to find a husband who loves being on the water as much as I do. Just last week we spent the night anchored at Ship Island, one of the barrier islands just off the coast. He grilled me a steak and we watched the sun set as we ate. Nothing can compare to the awesome beauty of a sunset on the water – unless it’s watching the sunrise while drinking coffee on the stern of the boat.
In my February 2010 release ON THE CREST OF A WAVE, my heroine finds herself helping a Union officer on this same island. Where we anchored I could see the fort that was taken over by the Union forces in the early part of the Civil War and then used as a Confederate Prisoner of War Camp. It’s hard to walk the island today over a hundred years later and not think about what happened on that barren stretch of sand. How can you not be creative in a setting like that?
I’m always asked where I get the ideas for my novels. It’s hard to say how ideas originate. One day your mind is a blank slate and the next your fingers are flying across the keyboard. I guess if I’m honest with myself, my surroundings play an important role in formulating stories, and I’m lucky enough to live where nature evokes an emotional response and strikes a creative chord.
Think about your surroundings. Do you live in the mountains, the plains, a coastline or in a big city? Sometimes we take for granted what we see every day. Today, take a moment and actually see the beauty and the awe that Mother Nature has provided. You never know if the idea for your next book is waiting to be discovered it there.