I grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where the dry heat in the summer brings out the sharp smell of pines and juniper and the snows in winter can stack up in feet and not just inches. Where sometimes it snows on the Fourth of July and lightning travels miles to strike a tree on a distant mountainside.
With such influences, of course these settings make it into my writing. They’re so vivid that I can practically taste the pine sap and feel the cool breeze.
This is also why I love to travel. The exposure to new environments feeds into new, vibrant settings.
So, it’s only natural that South Carolina has started filtering into some of my newer stories. It’s so drastically different from Colorado that I can just sit and soak in the differences. The world here breathes the odor of moldering leaves and damp earth. Sand sneaks into shoes and lizards skitter across brick walls. Flowers bloom year-round in a menagerie of colors and instead of snow, it rains leaves and buckets of water.
Thus, the newest adventure book boasts twittering warblers, sandy shores, and the thick foliage of magnolias, palms, and pines. (I’ve yet to find a place that doesn’t have a pine or two).
It’s a different feel for the story, and I love the variety this crazy beautiful world offers. I’ll never grow tired of exploring it. What influences your settings? Or what do you notice most about the place in which you live?