It is said that inspiration for writing comes from within, but that doesn't mean inspiration can't be found in the people and scenery all around us. Since I live in Montana I have more pictures of here than anywhere else. Among the many things I love about living here, it's the inspiration for writing. Whether I'm writing historical as my alter-ego or looking for a great out-of-the-way place to plot a murder, I can find what I need here. Have you ever been to Montana? Are you a city person or do you like to explore the wilds?
For instance, what do you think is at the end of this road and through the fog? A creepy house? Never-ending wilderness? A grizzly crossing the road? Lots of possibilities, and I thought of them all when I drove it. I know what's at the end because I've been through Glacier Park enough, but it still sets the imagination to wondering.
For the next Kyndall book, currently in the plotting phase, we head back to Stewart's Crossing, Alaska (setting of "Blade of Death"). I've been to both North Carolina and Maine, locations for The Dragon's Staircase and Shadow of the Forgotten, respectively. I didn't have to imagine being there because I knew both places. Alaska, surprisingly, has not made it on my travel list just yet. Luckily, it looks a lot like where I live in Montana, but much bigger and more wild, so I don't have to stretch the imagination beyond what I know. However, there are always little details that make a place what it is, and those are the details that are tough to get if you've never been somewhere.
I have friends who are able to fill in the gaps that research doesn't, which helps a lot. By creating a fictional town, it gives me leeway to lay things out to suit the story and my characters.
I always look to the geography when writing a story because the setting is as much a character as the people. I'm excited to spend the next few months in Alaska with Donovan Kyndall. It's going to be another exciting adventure.
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Until next time!