As an author, I find inspiration everywhere. Even as a kid, I’d amuse myself by making up stories while I was bored in school or grocery shopping with my mom or waiting in line. Now I’ve found that some locations spur my imagination more than others. These are places anyone can go to have fun or brainstorm a new novel.
- New Orleans — New Orleans has been a favorite destination of mine since I was in high school. I was always a big Anne Rice fan, and I found it thrilling to walk the streets of the historic city and picture vampires hunting there as well. As I got older, I learned to appreciate the city’s architecture and the historic homes. New Orleans is a city teeming with culture and history. It’s hard not to have fun or to imagine historical characters walking the streets where tourists walk today.
- Epcot at Disneyworld — Epcot might seem a strange place to find writing inspiration, but the World Showcase always spurs my creative juices. Strolling through Canada then England through Morocco to Japan is like a fast jaunt through an adventure novel. Need some hero inspiration? Go to Italy. Want a yummy libation? Try France. Of all the parks in Disneyworld, I find Epcot the most relaxing and the most beautiful.
- London — Since I write historical romance mostly set in England, I had to put London on the list. There’s nothing like going to the place you’re writing about to make your scenes even more authentic. I remember the first time I was in London, and I strolled by myself down old streets and alleyways. Imagine my pleasure when I spotted boot scrapers from long ago still positioned outside historic houses. I could definitely see my hero wiping his boots before entering the heroine’s town house. England is also home to beautiful museums, grand castles and estates, and my favorite collection of royal jewels.
- Paris — If you’ve read many of my books, you know I have an ongoing affair with Paris. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. Not only does Paris have a riveting history, it’s also beautiful. Nothing inspires me like Paris.
- My local museums — Since I don’t always have thousands of dollars to spend on trips near and far, I find that my local museum of art or natural history are also great places to visit. I learn something, I enjoy great art, and I usually leave with some tidbit of information I know must find a place in one of my novels. P.S. They’re also great places to take the kids when school is out.
In my new release, I Kissed a Rogue, the hero Brook must keep the heroine Lady Lila safe from a crime lord. He takes her to a bachelor flat in London and then to a ramshackle cottage in the countryside. For the spoiled duke’s daughter, the venues do not inspire. Where do you like to go when you have a vacation?
Shana Galen is the bestselling author of passionate Regency romps, including the RT Reviewers’ Choice The Making of a Gentleman. Kirkus says of her books, “The road to happily-ever-after is intense, conflicted, suspenseful and fun,” and RT Bookreviews calls her books “lighthearted yet poignant, humorous yet touching.” She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making.
One person who comments will win digital copies of the first two books in the Covent Garden Cubs series, Earls Just Want to Have Fun and The Rogue You Know (must be able to read on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iBooks, or Google Play). A winner will be chosen on Friday, March 18. To enter, answer the following question:
What’s your favorite place to visit and why?