I commented on Reese’s post Tuesday, which included Costa Rica, that I love the Caribbean as a place that inspires me. It’s my favorite travel destination – this photo is from Virgin Gorda – and I want to see as many of the islands as I can.
I’ve set books in the Caribbean. Five Golden Rings takes place in Cozumel, the Mexican Caribbean. More, I use the images and feel of the Caribbean extensively in my fantasy romances – both in A Covenant of Thorns and The Twelve Kingdoms.
Technically I have lots of landscapes in both series – mountains, meadows, forests, caves, waterfalls – along with human habitations like castles, villages and war camps. But the really special places, the paradisiacal ones, are very much like the Caribbean. Partly because that’s paradise to me. But also because the landscape lends itself to variations in magic. I can play with the richness of the tropical foliage, the variety of creatures of land, sea and air, and the way the place shapes the people who live there – and affects characters who come from harsher climates. Also, the Caribbean is magical to me, with the colors, the sense of living IN the environment instead of being secluded from it, and… something more. I’m not sure what it is.
Maybe it’s just plain magical.