Amazon is graciously celebrating authors all month with their #PoweredByIndie event. When invited to discuss why I became a writer, I gladly accepted the invitation. I realized I wouldn’t be the person I am at all without books, whether reading for information or entertainment. And so appreciating reading, I wanted to be able to share life experiences, travel, emotion and inspiration with a message through writing my fiction novels. I enjoy penning my novels for others to read. And if someone can enjoy them, all the better.So thanks, Amazon for your recogntion.
Authors in the #PoweredByIndie group I recommend is Anna Faversham.
As you might guess from the photo, I’m considering writing a novel partially set in Greece and also in Chicago, with a family Greek restaurant. It still needs to be worked out, but keeps rumbling around in my head. It would certainly be different from ERIN’S MISSION, set in Iowa, and HEALING JOURNEY set in Port St. Lucie, Florida, if I choose this setting and story. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions welcome!
I had the privilege of spending the 4th of July in the Windy City of Chicago. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells left vivid images as always. But on returning home and reflecting on what I experienced, I realized to put the events in writing would take more description in words, than the story of what I actually did; the warmth and savory taste of the pizza, fresh fish, steak and fresh Garrett’s popcorn. The cool spray from Lake Michigan on the water taxi. Traffic, sirens, and fireworks sounds. The colors of the river, lake, and buildings, many adorned with red white and blue lights and flags.
I didn’t think much about these descriptions at the time, as I was so involved in what I was doing, but am glad I remember them now to tuck away in my memory, as description is so important in writing. It’s easy to gloss over when writing a first draft, but makes such a difference to bring a reader into the story. So, my thought is to list what descriptions I’ll need when planning the next novel, to be sure I vividly bring the story across.
What is theme in writing? Universal truths? Beliefs?
We read for escape, adventure, excitement, knowledge, a satisfying story, but what binds it altogether? It should be the theme.
We’ve all heard about man vs.man, good vs. evil, and man vs.nature, no doubt. That’s because they’re good, universal themes.
But on the detailed level, think about what in particular you like to read about, or write about if you’re also an author. That can give you deeper insight as to who you are and why you’ve become who you are.
I hadn’t considered this when I wrote my two books, ERIN’S MISSION and HEALING JOURNEY. But now, as I look back, I realize even in my titles, the word “mission” and “journey” speak a little about me. I’ve blogged before about liking to travel and about writing in particular settings. However, on a deeper level, I’ve seen my own and others’ life journeys and missions, so to speak, and they’ve come out in my writing.
So next time you read a book that really resonates with you, ask yourself why.
I’d love to hear from writers and readers what books have touched your heart.
Not long ago, I wrote a blog post using setting as character, then most recently I wrote about one of my most favorite places in the Hawaiian Islands. So now that it’s summer, we’re all thinking of taking trips, no matter how long, short, close or far.
Planning a trip to Chicago this summer, for starters, but I’m also “percolating” an idea and a new setting for another novel. I’m considering starting with a Midwest setting and adding a setting in Greece.
As readers, what are your favorite geographical settings? The U.S. Europe, Islands, Asia?
Happy reading and traveling this summer!
Since the tag line of my blog, The Write Inspiration is to experience life, travel, be inspired and write, I thought I’d pen a bit about Kalalau Valley since I’ve traveled there, am always inspired when visiting and have a different experience each time I’ve had the opportunity to return. But I’ve never written about it, so I’d like to share it with you.
As with many photos, they can certainly give you an idea, but often can’t compete with the actual view. I keep a framed photo in my living room, and yet when I’ve visited I’ve forgotten to some extent how deep this valley is, (around 4,000 feet+/-) from above, how majestic and dramatic the cliffs are and the overall beauty down to and including the Pacific Ocean. It’s mesmerizing.
I’ve stood there looking out, barely able to hear the ocean. Sometimes there are waterfalls, but they’re not audible. Clouds can rush in, especially by afternoon and cover it as if it weren’t there.
I also enjoy seeing people who walk up to the lookout for the first time. They’re floored, making comments such as “awesome,” “we should have brought our chairs and sat here all day,” or “everything is right here, the cliffs, trees, and ocean, everything.”
Before taking a helicopter ride over Kauai and also the Kalalau Valley, a sign at the helicopter pad read, “You will have a spiritual experience on this flight.” I thought it a bit presumptuous at the time, but I must admit they were right.
While I’ve mentioned I like to travel and create different settings in my stories, I’d like to mention setting as a character itself in a book. For instance, what would GONE WITH THE WIND be without the old south and the civil war, which definitely adds to the drama and story of the characters? Yes, it would still be a great novel, but think how the war and culture of the south affected the characters’ motivations and lives. I’m sure you can think of a lot more books where setting is a great foundation to a story.
When I set up my author page on Facebook sometime ago, I didn’t think about the photo image I placed there in relation to my new release, HEALING JOURNEY. I chose it as a peaceful, pleasant garden scene which happened to be from a photo I took over a year ago. However, Healing Journey is set in Florida and the heroine finds reprieve in this particular garden, Heathcote Botanical, as well as along the Atlantic coastline. The image above was taken from the Jensen Beach, Florida, Atlantic coastline.
Setting does not have to be a dominant presence to make a book great. But if you’re interested in settings or travel, the next time you read a novel consider how much the setting does relate to the book.
Happy reading and traveling,