My Favorite Scenes   11 comments

What are your favorite vacation spots and do they ever show up in your books?


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Many of the scenes of places I’ve traveled to find a home in my books.

The featured town in Transformation Project is a town in Kansas where we stopped for gasoline and lunch many years ago. I changed the name and several details to avoid making that annoying error where you read a book set in your hometown and it takes liberties with your home. But I also include the Fairbanks Airport and locations in Columbus (which I’ve not been to) and Seattle, which I know pretty well.

In my romance that is nearing final draft, I set a lot of the action in Maui, which is my favorite island in Hawaii. Why not use what you know and enjoy. I also use the Denver Airport because I was once stuck there for several hours.

The town of Port Mallory in What If Wasn’t wasn’t a favorite vacation spot, but I did enjoy a lunch there with my husband’s uncle, so again, I used the town as a template but changed the name and details. The description of the downtown and harbor are my memories from about 20 years ago.

I set a short story about Alaska in the valley where our cabin build is located.

In my fantasy series Daermad Cycle, which you wouldn’t think would have a foot in the real world, I have scenes based on places I’ve visited. Janara and Donyl hike the Copper River “Highway” (actually an abandoned railroad bed) and cross the mighty Copper River (renamed the Dragon’s Milk), Padraig rides through a meadow we once found on a multi-day hike, and Ryanna is trapped in burned-over taiga in the Gatelands.

Why Not Just Start from Scratch?

Because there is so much that goes into building a world and sometimes, it is simply easier to base the build on the real world. Does Emmaus Kansas have national gas? What’s the weather like in November or April? How deep would the snow get if the streets weren’t plowed? Why make up a bunch of stuff when you can look it up? This helps readers to believe they’re really in Kansas and it doesn’t limit me to writing Alaskana.

By wrapping my fiction around kernels of truth, I hope I create a sense of authenticity that might not exist otherwise.

I wonder what my fellow blog-hoppers have to say on this subject.

Posted March 13, 2023 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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11 responses to “My Favorite Scenes

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  1. Yes, like you I focus on places I’ve been to but then give them fictitious names. I think it’s better that way.


  2. I agree – why build from scratch when you can just adjust reality? Everyone understands NYC or London, England then you adapt the street where your character lives.
    Tweeted. and Tumblr.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Every futuristic and alternative world I’ve created has its basis in somewhere I’ve been. I work on the theory that galactic explorers would want to recreate a place that reminds them of home.


  4. I understand your feelings about the Denver airport – now Atlanta is a different story!


    • I’ve never been through Atlanta. The Denver Airport is beautiful but because it’s located where it is, it has the highest rate of flight cancellations due to winter. It beats Nome Alaska in that inglorious record. Perfect place to put two people with a past together and let them discover they don’t hate each other anymore.


  5. I often take details of one place and put them somewhere else in my stories, too. Gives a sense of verisimilitude, even when it’s only half the truth. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act


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