Thursday, May 09, 2013

No rest for the writer - Kandy Shepherd

A writer never really has a holiday. No matter where we go, what we do, our stories and characters are always with us. Even on an indolent tropical vacation, those characters in our heads are always poking their noses in and suggesting ways the location might affect them and the way they behave on the pages of our books. If we’re away with another writer that’s even worse, as we talk incessantly about our stories and the way they’re shaping up!

Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to take two mini-breaks in Australian locations utterly different from each other.One to a resort in tropical far north Queensland where it’s always summer, the other to the Southern Highlands south-west of Sydney where it’s autumn right now.

The bliss of a lagoon pool in a funky, tropical resort

The relaxing beauty of change of season
One resort was funky, upbeat, with a lagoon pool, palm trees and a party atmosphere.

The sign says it all!
The other was traditional, elegant, reminiscent of a Scottish manor house complete with baronial hall. I loved each of them for very different reasons. (Oh, and they both had amazing food!)

Even the adjoining golf club house was traditional

While I swam in Port Douglas, Queensland, walked country roads in Sutton Forrest, New South Wales, my mind was ticking over with ideas for various new stories and the characters who will drive them.

Could my character work in a place like this? Or own it?

Which romance hero or heroine could live behind these gates?

I came up with the perfect “back story” for one heroine, in this case where she met the man who done her wrong and affected her future relationships. And all sorts of scenarios are ticking over for other stories.

The traditional hotel was once a private home and comes complete with ghosts
Fun and funky in the tropics -- appealing in a different way

When I’m away from the everyday, relaxed and enjoying good company, the creative side of my brain kicks into overdrive. (It certainly helps not having to cook, clean, or do laundry, too!)

When people ask me did I have a nice, relaxing break, I of course say “yes”, but a writer never really takes a break and with my creative batteries recharged, I’m keen to get back to my stories.

I’ve used Port Douglas briefly in my latest release Reinventing Rose, not as an actual location but as somewhere the characters talk about visiting. (To say any more would become a spoiler!)

BTW, the hotels I visited were the QT at Port Douglas and Peppers Manor House.

What about you? Do you have a favorite vacation destination? What do you like most about taking that so-needed break from routine? Do you enjoy exotic destinations in the novels you read? I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment for a chance to win a free download of Reinventing Rose.

Don’t forget to include your email address if you want to be in the draw.

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.

Her new contemporary womens fiction e-book, Reinventing Rose, is available now at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Smashwords, and other e-book retailers.

Kandy’s romances include the Amazon bestseller The Castaway Bride, Something About Joe, and the award-winners Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is.

Visit Kandy at her website


Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, what a lovely piece and I love the photos! Port Douglas looks lovely and I'm captivated by the English manor charm of Peppers. How lucky you are to have got away like that. Oh, you're so right about writers never taking a holiday but on the other hand, when everything is inspiration, life is pretty interesting! I'm really due for a holiday - haven't had a real holiday in years. I've done research trips and trips to go to writing conventions and conferences and visits to crit partners. But I have to say just at the moment, the idea of doing absolutely nothing for a week but read and loll about and maybe eat things that are bad for me is just SOOOO appealing. Sigh. Not on the horizon, unfortunately! Looking forward to seeing the products of your inspiration!

Kandy Shepherd said...

What a good point you make, Anna, about "when everything is inspiration, life is pretty interesting!" I totally agree - and we never get bored, do we?
However, there is a need for that read and loll about type holiday and I hope you get one before too long. I've only managed a few days away - oh for a week! - and that can be enough. Better than nothing, anyway!
So glad you enjoyed the photos.

Sharon Archer said...

Lovely pics, Kandy! What very different holiday destinations! Both fabulous in their own way.

It's funny how that little writer voice wants to set a scene, imagine how our characters might react, what their conflicts might be, how they might meet, what they might say. We're off travelling though the Simpson Desert soon... I'm looking forward to what my current characters might think about that... or where a whole new story with new characters might gate crash!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Oh, Kandy, that manor house looks amazing! And it's haunted? That would certainly inspire me! I love beaches and mountains, but for some reason I stick to cities when I'm on holiday. I'm counting down the days till my trip to Europe this northern summer. It's my writer's discovery holiday. :)

Pat Cochran said...

Our one and only "major" vacation trip
was to Venice, and though we'd love to
go back, I've always wanted to do a
"road trip" covering the states we've
not visited. Perhaps that might be a
project for when Honey retires. Most
of our vacation time was used chapero-
ning junior and senior high school
band trips!

Pat Cochran said...

OOPS! Forgot to add my email address: