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When Research...(or reading) Meets Life

Okay, I tried to think of something April Fool’s related, but no such luck. I’m not that much of a trickster. I can't even think of something fun to do to my husband...related to tricking, that is. Where were your thoughts headed? What I did think of is related to a trip I took just recently and a work in progress I’ve been writing since before Christmas.

This manuscript takes place in the pristine village of Stresa on the shores of Lago Maggiore in northern Italy. I wanted an exotic location. Italy is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go so I basically closed my eyes and let my finger drop to a location on the map in my atlas. (By the way, an atlas is also a wonderful writer’s tool.)

As all this was happening, I had a ski vacation with my husband booked for Switzerland. Near the end of the trip, I was missing the kids and needed something to keep my mind on other things. Looking through the train schedules, I discovered it was only a two-hour ride to Stresa! The perfect opportunity to really research the village I’d been writing about. The Internet is an amazing tool, however, nothing beats the real thing. I couldn’t have described the deserted train station and graffiti covered washroom from the Internet. I could never have described the way Italian males look you up, down and back up again in a way that makes you feel incredibly sexy.

Isola Bella

The Borromean islands off the shores of Stresa are another matter entirely. Something just has to happen on these historic, picturesque islands in my book. Visiting Stresa is going to make this book so much more vivid for the reader.
So, tell me something about how your research turns to reality, or... here’s a spicy thought…as a reader, how does what you read relate to your reality. I have some stories to tell, as I’m in a fairly open marriage, but I want to hear about you. Have you ever tried something you’ve read about in an erotic romance or tried something and then written about it? Let’s hear your stories.


Ashley Ladd said...

A lot of things in my books are inspired by my real life, or that I see happening. Not that I don't do research because I love to research, online and off. Someday, I'd like to be able to travel worldwide to conduct my research. That won't be today with a day job that only gives me 3 weeks vacation a year and young children still at home, but definitely, some day.

Lisabet Sarai said...

I've certainly done a lot of things and then written about them... which things? I like to keep my readers guessing!

Wonderful that you had the opportunity to explore the exotic setting you'd chosen.

Judith Rochelle said...

I'm with Lisabet. A lot of my

I'm with Lisabet. A lot of what I write is based on real life, but I'm not telling which part! I'll just say I love doing research...of all kinds.

Catherine Chernow said...

Oh my...reality affects my writing all the time. That's where I look for stories - in real life. Truth is stranger than fiction. to what I've read in a romance novel and tried???

LOL, I guess I live vicariously through all the romances I've read.

: )

Catherine Chernow