Saturday, April 21, 2012

Is travel necessary for authors?

I've just returned home from a few days in British Columbia, and I have to say yes, I think travel is necessary. I see new things. I hear new viewpoints. I try new foods. I look up and pay attention to beauty. And then the ideas start flying and I have to take notes on the things I want to write.

Here is a photo taken from my hotel room last night near the airport in Richmond. The bay in the foreground, mountains in the distance, close to . Suddenly scenes about living on a boat, being held on a boat or going somewhere romantic on a boat pop into my mind.
What do you think, authors? How does travel inform what you write? Do you set scenes, watch people, or relax and let the ideas bubble up from the experiences?


  1. I definitely think it helps Lynette. I know I use many of the memories from my travels in my writing - even if it's only someone I spot in an airport who turns into inspiration for a character. In 'Opposites Attract' I used trips I'd made to Paris and the Smoky Mountains for settings.

  2. I was blessed to be able to go to Norway last summer and my answer is a resounding YES!!! If a story is set anywhere but an author's hometown, then visiting that place will enrich stories in ways that mere book/online research cannot. I had to continually remind myself that my characters are fictional - they didn't really walk that path or look out that window. I posted my pictures on my website, if anyone cares to see them:

  3. Traveling definitely gets my muse going. My first published book, AN OFFICER AND A GIGOLO, came as a result of my cruise around South America. (I didn't have quite as much fun as my heroine.) Jackie

  4. Lynn, I loved your pictures from British Columbia. Gorgeous. Travel has indeed inspired my writing. My deployment to Hungary when I was still in the Army in 1997 helped inspire my setting for the Budapest Moon series and the Moldaian Moon series. My time being station ed in Germany and traveling throughout Europe has inspired my settings in most of my stories including: The Faberge Secret, A Polish Heart, and Christmas in Bayeux. My time visiting Califonria wine country, Napa & Sonoma Valleys inspired my story Feast of Candles and soon to be release, Journey of the Heart. Sigh...

    I miss my time in Europe. You've brought back good memories. I don't get out often now because I have two small kiddies but we've ventured around California and I learn something new everytime I get out. If anything, my travels have probably inspired more of my stories than dreams. Very thought provoking post, Lynn.