Write what you know. That’s the intro for my author profile and words I try to live by. I grew up in the coastal woods of Northern California and have lived most of my adult life in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I can’t imagine not being able to walk out my front door into the forest. Nothing is more beautiful than the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, the chirp of birds high overhead, the chatter of a squirrel taunting my dog… But I digress.
I can’t write cities with any authority. My characters live in small towns with nature all around. I include the occasional scene in a city, but for the most part I stick to what I know. My heroine in Every Move She Makes lives in Napa Valley, but she and her daughters travel to a wilderness retreat in the High Sierra and then to Lake Tahoe. One very tense scene takes place on the trail through the woods where I walk every day with my dog. After reading my book, a local friend dubbed it The Scary Trail. I hope the authenticity of “knowing” my setting shines through for the reader. You tell me…
The peacefulness of the forest worked its magic, filling Rachel with a sense of strength as she worked her muscles. Panting with exertion, she climbed steadily. It was after six o’clock, and the shadows across the trail had grown long. When a sleek coyote stepped onto the path, Rachel stopped. It stared at her through narrowed eyes. Breathing hard, she waited for the creature to move. Suddenly its eyes widened before the animal bolted into the forest.
Strong arms snaked around her chest and neck, holding her immobile.
“Let go!” Heart pounding, she screamed and kicked, trying to turn her head.
“Don’t make me hurt you, Jordan.” The voice whispered in her ear. “I’ve waited so long for this moment. Please don’t spoil it.”
“Let go of me, you freak!” Rachel kicked again, connecting with the heel of her shoe. “I’m not Jordan.” She dug her nails into her attacker’s arm.
He yelped but didn’t release her. “That wasn’t very nice. If you hurt me, I’ll be forced to hurt you back.”
“Who are you?” She struggled to turn, but he held onto her so she couldn’t. “What do you want?”
“You belong to me. You betrayed me at the lake, but I’ll try to forgive you. Don’t fight me, Jordan.”
“Let me go!”
Raising her foot, she kicked backward, connecting solidly with his shin. He swore and smacked the side of her head. Rachel’s vision blurred.
“Stop it. If I have to, I’ll knock you senseless and carry you out of here.”
So, if you’re an author, do you stick with what you know when you’re writing, or do you branch out into uncharted territory? As a reader, what are your favorite settings—urban or rural?
No matter where she goes, he knows her every move…
Long ago, Rachel Carpenter was a glamorous soap star. She gave it all up to move to Napa Valley
Someone is watching from the darkness. A fanatic obsessed with Rachel for years has decided to claim what he believes is his. It will be up to Kane to not only protect his new love and her family, but to uncover the identity of the stalker before it’s too late for all of them…
About the Author:
Write what you know. Jannine Gallant has taken this advice to heart, creating characters from small towns and plots that unfold in the great outdoors. She grew up in a tiny Northern California town and currently lives in beautiful Lake Tahoe with her husband and two daughters. When she isn’t busy writing or being a full time mom, Jannine hikes or snowshoes in the woods around her home. Whether she’s writing contemporary, historical or romantic suspense, Jannine brings the beauty of nature to her stories. To find out more about this author and her books, visit her website atjanninegallant.com.