Most of my inspiration for writing comes when I travel. There is something about being in a new place where I can free my mind from everyday tasks that stimulates my imagination. The idea for my first novel, The Gate House, came about when my husband and I stayed in a bed and breakfast in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England. That bed and breakfast became the setting for most of the story. We also traveled to the city of Lincoln on that trip, which is home to one of the most impressive cathedrals in England in my opinion.
I loved the cathedral roof tour, where visitors are able to traverse the catwalks situated between the vaulting that forms the cathedral ceiling and the roof. I used this spot for some exciting scenes in The Gate House.
I am fortunate to have relatives and friends who live all over the world, which means not only a free place to stay (although that happens), but it sometimes means carrying some rather odd items back and forth.
In the photo, I was packing for a trip to Alaska where my brother lives. His request from the “lower 48” was fresh summer corn on the cob. Since we grew up in Illinois, we appreciate good corn. The hiking shoes you see in the bag ended up staying in Alaska until the following spring. I didn’t have room for them on the way back, so my sister-in-law brought them to me when we were all in Hawaii together for a wedding.
I think of my main character Nara as an adventurer who would be up for the kinds of trips I enjoy. In fact, a pair of shoes is instrumental in Nara meeting the love of her life in The Gate House.
The cat had to stay home.