One of the questions writers hate the most is “Where do you get your ideas?” Usually, the reason we hate it is that the honest answer would be, “Duh, I don’t know.” Seriously. Out of more than twenty books, there are only three or four that I could definitely say what inspired the story.
A recent exception would be my first romantic suspense novel, Moon over the Mediterranean, which was just released. When my husband and I started planning this trip, I thought it would be nice if I could get a novel out of it. Since the setting wouldn’t really lend itself to the Regency period (because, you know, Napoleon was running amok all over Europe), I decided to try my hand at the type of book that I credit with giving me a lifelong craving for travel: a romantic suspense novel in the tradition of Mary Stewart, M. M. Kaye, etc. Since the book’s publication, several reviewers have recommended it as a summer “beach read,” largely because of its exotic setting(s). So now, I’m going to be like that annoying neighbor who invites you over and then proceeds to show you all the home movies from his vacation. Except in my case, it’s not movies, but some of the sights we saw on our trip, which also figure in the novel.
Hubby Mike and me on Formal Night. (No, I’m not that short; he, at 6’5″, is that tall.)
Since I’m a firm believer in not talking down to readers, I’m not going to tell you what this is. I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure it out.
Me, standing in front of the Spanish Steps in Rome. The two-toned cream-colored house in the right middle ground is the Keats-Shelley House, where the poet John Keats died in 1821. It’s now a museum dedicated to the English Romantic poets.
Stunning view along the hair-raising road from Naples to Sorrento.
Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. In the book, Robin has a fright here; while I wasn’t assaulted, like she was, I did find the too-aggressive salesmen too much of a deterrent to do any shopping.
The windmills of Mykonos, Greece.
The section of Mykonos known as “Little Venice,” because of the way the balconies hang out over the water. One of the “mushier” scenes in the book takes place here.
Street scene in Ephesus, Turkey. The large building on the left is (or was) the Celsus Library.
The Parthenon, Athens.
The Erechtheion, with the “Porch of the Maidens.” It’slocated on the Acropolis, like the Parthenon, which is only a stone’s throw away. (No pun intended.)
A close-up of the Porch of the Maidens.
The Doge’s Palace in Venice, as seen from the balcony of our stateroom.
The Bridge of Sighs in Venice, with the Doge’s Palace on the left and the prison on the right. The “sighs” were from prisoners glimpsing the outside world for the last time as they crossed the bridge.