In 9 days’ time, I will be setting off for my month in the USA and Canada (but don’t ask me if I’m packed and ready because the short answer is no!)
When I’ve told people my schedule for the month, which
includes New Jersey, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Ontario (near Niagara), and Rhode
Island, several have said to me, “You should get plenty of ideas for new
Well, that remains to be seen. I don’t recall ever consciously
‘looking’ for ideas. Usually they sneak up on me when I least expect them, but
I have used places I’ve visited as locations in my novels: London, the English
Lake District, Scotland, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, the River Nile
(including Luxor and Aswan), and Ireland.
One novel was set in a seaside resort on England’s south
coast, which was an amalgam of several different seaside resorts (albeit none
of them in the part of the south coast where I located ‘my’ resort!)
The only time I’ve used a location I’ve never visited was
Iceland (in ‘Changing the Future’). Half of me now wants to visit Iceland to
see if I got it right; the other half of me doesn’t in case I got it wildly
So – will my forthcoming trip trigger any new ideas for me?
Who knows? After all, I never expected to get any ideas when I visited a small
Irish village in County Mayo on a day when it never stopped raining – but then
I spotted Maureen O’Hara’s signature in the visitors' book of ‘The Quiet Man’
cottage museum in the village (bottom line of this page), and a seed was sown…
Will any similar seeds be sown when I visit one of the Vegas
casinos, or gaze in awe at the Grand Canyon, or watch the power of the water as
it thunders over Niagara, or see the mansions of the Vanderbilts and Astors at
Newport, RI? Or will some seemingly trivial event – something I see, or
something I hear – provide the seed that will eventually germinate?
I’ll let you know!