It's book release week for me, WordWranglers Readers! Which means posting teasers and sharing my new cover (sigh, love it) and general playing around. But it's also a time to think about my characters and books - and a reminder to get started on something new!
You know that old saying, "Put your heart in a book?" Well, for me, that saying is all about setting. Not theme, not plot, not even characters so much as setting. And, I think that is why, more often than not a beach plays an important part in my books. You see, I love the beach.
When I was a kid - a mid-western kid - we would visit my great-grandmother in North Carolina every summer. Every summer I would go from flat land, can see for 500 miles to rolling sand dunes where you knew there was something 'over there' but you just couldn't see it. For 2 weeks every year, I could live in my bathing suit (yes, it was washed often!), drink in the smell of sunscreen, wear flip-flops everywhere (even church) and not get odd looks. I could be anything on the beach - a girl with a broken heart, a funny life-of-the-party girl, a heart-breaker girl...it just depended on my mood. I could walk out to the beach in the middle of the night, feel the cool sand between my toes and stare out into nothing. I could be a pirate, watching for unsuspecting ships. Or I could be an investigator for the Dutch East India Company, escaping my captors.
The beach was an escape from my seemingly boring life back at home. Home where there were chores to do and the same old people to see day in and day out. For 2 weeks I could be or do or see anything I wanted. It was a kind of release. I could be anonymous and alone and yet surrounded by people from ten different countries, big cities or towns even smaller than mine. It enabled me to try on different hats to figure out who I really wanted to be. Even now, as a 30-something grown up, when I need to think I escape to the beach (good thing we live with a beach about 10 minutes away). Listening to the waves, watching the water come in and go out...it's relaxing.
The beach Mr. Right Now is actually an ocean liner (I know, big difference) but it's the feeling - of getting away, of becoming someone new. When I'm writing, sooner or later, my characters wind up at a beach because everyone needs a place to think, to figure things out...and what better place to do that than a beautiful, wave-filled, sunscreen-smelling beach (or cruise ship)?
Do you have a favorite place to read (or write) about?