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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Gerry Bartlett: Keeping it Real In Your Unreal World


When I got the idea for Real Vampires Know Hips Happen, book 9 in the Real Vampires series, I realized Glory St. Clair, my somewhat chubby vampire heroine in all my books would chase her main squeeze all the way to Scotland. Jeremy Blade aka Jeremiah Campbell had turned Glory in 1604 and they’d been on-again, off-again lovers ever since. At the end of book 8, he’d taken off for the family castle, not happy with Glory’s recent behavior. Now she’s determined to get him back.

As I started writing, I wanted to see the real Castle Campbell. Luckily, a friend is married to a Brit whose family lives in Newcastle, just miles from the Scottish border. I accepted their invitation to fly over and we drove north to see the area for ourselves. The castle still stands, but barely. It is open for tours thanks to the National Trust. There’s even a tea room and gift shop. It a tough walk over a foot bridge and is just above the small town of Dollar, not too far from Edinburgh.


Just standing in the ancient castle and feeling the damp air ruin my hair filled my head with ideas. I knew immediately that my vampires would have to live under the castle. The story went on from there. It was a great experience and I learned that being on site is much better than a glimpse from Google Earth.

Have you ever visited a place that gave you a story idea? Comment here for a chance to win a copy of Real Vampires Know Hips Happen. 

***Gerry's winner is Connie! Please email totebag@authorsoundrelations.com with your mailing information. Thanks!***

17 comments:

Pat Cochran said...

Since I'm a reader, not a writer, I
do not usually focus on story ideas.
Although, some years ago a couple of
recurring dreams made me think, " I
could write a book based on these."
Fortunately, I came to my senses and
left the writing to the experts!

Pat C.

Toni said...

I'm just a reviewer, so story ideas no. I do understand the draw and feelings of castles though. I went to Ireland a few years back and the feelings from the past just settle in your bones. Scotland is my next trip. I can't wait to see more of the area.

tsteinerid(gmail)

Tanya said...

I have not I am not really a writer though my husband is working on a book that takes place in Iceland and I think it would be very rewarding for him to go there and spend some time exploring the land he is working so hard to write about...

Cecile Alfaro said...

Yes i'm a short story writer. I recently went to honduras on a trip to the mayan ruins.. It was a spiritual experice.. I've been thinking about writing a book. My main charater is name lena she latina n a shifter. She is a werepanther. Going to the mayan ruins let me see her origins.. Were she come from and why she acts the way she does...

Connie said...

I lived in Paris for a number of years and on the weekends, my husband and I loved to visit and tour old churches and chateaux. As I meandered through them, I would fantasize about how people lived when these places were new. As for forming an actual story, I cannot say that I did. I admit, like most everyone else, that I am a reader not a writer. However, I must say it gave me a “thirst” to find a novel to read that would “fit the scene.”

“Real Vampires Know Hips Happen” sounds like a terrific book and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Barbara E. said...

I'm not a writer, but there are places that have inspired me to think about stories when I visited. I love going to SeaWorld Orlando and seeing all the marine life really inspires me, especially the turtles. I think of mermaids and other sea creatures living the good life unseen by humans. :D

Mary Kirkland said...

Not really, but I have read books where the setting was in Scotland in a castle that made me want to read more stories with settings like that. I love reading a book with descriptions of castles in them.

miztik_rose@yahoo.com

Eli Yanti said...

Yes, I feel it when I go to one place. I thought how the story goes from that place and let my mind play the scene :)

gerrybartlett said...

You have been to some cool places. I have seen some Mayan ruins. Very atmospheric.

Tabatha said...

I'm not a writer, but I love to read books set in Australia. It just seems to be a place I'd love to visit someday.

atxpixie said...

Standing in the forest or looking up at mountain tops make me feel poetic. I am planning on going to Europe and I have a feeling that the area will be very inspiring. Gerry's books make me want to listen to a man in a kilt :)

erin said...

Congrats to Gerry on the new release and thanks for sharing! You've been to some awesome places! Unfortunately I haven't traveled enough to go any where inspiring :(

Shelli said...

Duluth, Minnesota.
We took a trip there with my son when he was 6. There was so much to see and do. Visited the zoo, went to an indoor amusement park and a museum. We watched the big ships come and go while my son waved to anyone who was on deck. Walked to the lighthouse, watched the aerial lift bridge and chased the birds. Climbed over rocks on the shore and looked for agates. I could go on and on about all the things we had fun doing but it was when we went to the beach on Park Point and my son was having the time of his life in the freezing waters, letting the waves crash into him that saw the joy in his face. He didn't have a care in the world and for him that was a big deal. My son was born with an immune deficiency disease and had been sick his whole life. He's never had a day without medicines and food limitations and he's had far too many days of hospitals, needles and sick beds. This day in Duluth he didn't worry about being sick, this was the furthest he had ever been from home and in his mind even Disney World couldn't beat it.
Later I looked at the pictures I had taken and I cried because I have never seen my baby smile like that. He's always been reserved and he does his best not to let people see his happy side sometimes. So for us, Duluth was a magical place and I wrote down my memories of that day. I don't want to write a book about that day and my son exactly but I do want to write a children's book that is set in Duluth and the places we visited, especially the beautiful beach.
My son is 10 now and he's overcome his immune disease, although he still has some medical problems, he is pretty darn healthy. He still says Duluth is his favorite place in the world and I want to share a little bit of Duluth with other kids.

Linda Henderson said...

I'm not a writer but I visited a beautiful hotel that is supposed to be haunted that could definitely inspire some ideas.

Mary Preston said...

Not a story no, but certainly a wish to know more about the history. I can understand how a writer could be inspired.

Lory Lee said...

Yes! My only problem is I can't translate it into words, since I'm not good with them T_T.

Cecile Alfaro said...

Does anyone know who won the book??