We just returned from twelve days in Iceland, a dream-come-true trip and probably the last big one we'll take now that my husband has retired. I love traveling to other countries...not just to enjoy the scenery, but for the chance to learn more about other cultures, quirky and unique aspects about the country (or even an area of the United States) and oh, yes--take lots of photos!
As a gal born and raised in the Midwest, for instance, I never realized just how many jellyfish there can be in the Chesapeake Bay (perhaps a device for a dangerous chase in a suspense--if we already know that the protagonist is allergic to those creatures.) Nor had I considered the possibilities that the huge medieval crypt under Christ Church in Dublin might be a place to hide(even if only in my imagination) if my protagonist slips away from the other tourists before the doors are locked.
In Iceland, I took over 1,200 digital photos, plus lots of notes, imagining how unique details about the country, the residents and their customs, and the wide variety of international tourists could add verisimilitude
to the scenes in a book. Never have I seen bottles of cod liver oil on
every breakfast buffet, for instance, complete with shot glasses, for
instance, until going to Iceland. :) The country has tremendous
geothermal activity, and a sign by a geyser warning tourists not to
touch the surrounding pool of water because the nearest hospital was 64
km away. A rather pointed message!
The Icelandic ponies, the rugged Eastern Fjord country, the endless waterfalls...and even the interesting food and snacks there would also be fun to use for details. I finally had to ask about the big displays of dried, flattened fish hanging in almost every gas station/convenience store. I was told that they eat this dry (rather like fish jerky) by peeling the edible flesh off the skin...and the packages of smaller pieces (without the skin still on) might be eaten like potato chips while watching TV. Fish, anyone? :)
So how about you...have you ever caught yourself thinking about possible stories when you've visited new places? Imagined the possibilities of suspense plots?
Best wishes to you all!
USA Today Bestselling Author
Falling for the Rancher, LI Out now! 6/2017
An Aspen Creek Christmas, LI 11/2016
The Single Dad's Redemption, Love Inspired 7/2016