Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Things I never knew...

I love to travel, and it’s always fascinating to use our travels to research upcoming books, because there are unique aspects to every locale—the culture, the restaurants, the slang.

Though I’d always thought of New Orleans as being a unique world, I had never thought about the scenic, small towns along the Gulf...until our daughter and her husband moved there.  We were just visiting her, and I realized her area would be a perfect setting for a book.

It’s beautiful....with miles upon miles of beautiful white sand beaches, lovely mansions facing the Gulf (and empty lots too, where wide, sweeping driveways lead to nothing because Hurricane Katrina swept away every last sign of habitation.)  The weather can certainly be dangerous at times, but there  are other fascinating challenges I’d never imagined as a Northerner—useful for adding verisimilitude (realistic details) to a story.

Flying termites, for one.  Swarming, flying termites by the thousands!  Colonies need the right temp, the right humidity, but little or no wind  as they are terrible fliers.  In their life cycle they have just a 
couple hours of glory—to find a mate, abruptly shed their wings, and fall to the ground. Wherever they land they will either start a new colony or shrivel up and die.  They can get through window screen and  cracks in windows, as they are so tiny.  During their oeak season there are so many that they show up on weather radar at times!  Here's a link:

And then there are one of the fastest cockroaches in the USA—the huge palmetto bugs.  Oh, and the lizards.  And the roof rats!  They can easily scale house siding, then find a way into a house through vents into attics.  That could add an eerie element to a scene--where the heroine is in hiding, but hears the scrabbling of something  moving around overhead.

The whole time we were visiting, I kept envisioning scenes for a suspense novel--and incorporating some of these fascinating regional details. there regional, unique flora or fauna in your area that could add some elements for suspense?  I would love to hear about them!

Roxanne Rustand
USA Today Bestselling Author
The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016
An Aspen Creek Christmas, Love Inspired 11/16


  1. Yikes! I won't be visiting there anytime soon. I learn so much from this blog. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Those are the kind of details that make a book sing! Thanks for sharing.