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Friday, December 13, 2013

"Not all who wander are lost..." .J.R.R. Tolkien

I've been oddly fortunate to have wandered a bit. A couple of my jobs have sent me across the nation and to San Jose Costa Rica. (Giving me part of the setting for Nike's Wings - the rest came from the TV series Survivor, weirdly.)
After a divorce I also realized that my dream of visiting Great Britain and Ireland was becoming less likely as time passed. The funds were there, but if I played it safe I'd never go. For most of my life I'd done the 'right' thing - despite what some in my family thought - spending only what I could afford or going on vacation where my husband wanted to go.
So I threw caution to the winds and went - it wasn't as if the UK were a foreign country with a language I didn't know. I wanted to see the moors I'd read about in Hound of the Baskervilles. (I did.)

Stonehenge was a bow to the ancient religions and temples I had read about. The forested lands that had surrounded it, sadly, were long gone - sacrificed to the need for heating fuel.
I drove to horse country and the gallops I'd read about in Dick Francis's books and was lucky enough to see the horses riding through town.

What I learned in those two places helped inform one of my epic fantasies.

*Laughing* In a pub/eating place in Scotland I picked up a newspaper only to find an article about how American romance writers got it wrong, and promised myself I wouldn't make the same mistake.

I hadn't imagined how different countries with a common shared language could be. Scotland was beautiful, Edinburgh Castle and the city of Edinburgh itself were fascinating. I stayed at an inn on the shores of Loch Lomond that was graced by the presence of an older gentleman in traditional tartan.

Driving south I toured through the Lake Country, and continued south to Wales and the ferry to Dublin Ireland there.
And the first of the Millersburg Quartet series.

That's the joy of writing a series - making new friends in the characters you create and in the readers you take with you on that journey, as well as introducing those readers to the places that helped make those characters who they are.

Come with me to the jungles of South America where an American teenager is turned into an assassin's assassin.

Or to the Kingdoms where Elon, an Elf, - with his companions Colath, Jalila, the wizard Jareth, and Ailith of Riverford - try to defeat a threat to destroy the fragile truce between Elves, Dwarves, and men.

Or to Millersburg in the US via a trip to Ireland where Ali, the first of four friends, goes in search of her roots and a recovery of her career. Only to find more...much more