I think I’ve talked about my love affair with Pinterest before. It’s seriously like a writer’s wet dream over there. You need character inspiration? Done. How about some couple fodder? Check. And you can’t write that scene until you figure out how your heroine’s living room is decorated? Step right over and check out the 28736217838 pins available for your perusal.
One of my favorite things to look at over there is the scenic photographs. I have a picspiration board for places and spaces…things that might spark an entire book idea or simply just a scene. Some of the pictures aren’t even labeled with where they’re located, but I don’t care. Just because it says it’s located in, I don’t know, Scotland, doesn’t mean I can’t bring that to me. That’s the great thing about being writers. That picture of the quaint downtown area in Maine? I can pluck that out and set it smack dab in the middle of my fictional town in Midwest, USA, if I want to.
When I’m researching a book and looking for places that I need to use, I always like to familiarize myself with the area, if I’m not already. I like to see what’s available, what’s normal, to see how far I need to stretch the truth to make it fit into the story how I need it to. But sometimes, I get really lucky, and I find exactly what I’m looking for.
When I wrote Captive, my new adult romantic suspense that released in March, I did some googling (seriously, what did writers do before the internet?!), and I was lucky enough to find exactly what I was looking for. The cabin in which the majority of the book takes place is a real cabin located in Wisconsin, exactly where I needed the main characters to be. Even better? There were heaps and heaps of pictures for this rental that I had at my disposal to use while writing.
I would love to be able to whisk away to any of the locations I write about that aren’t local to me and get hands-on experience to see what they’re like. Unfortunately, my money tree hasn’t been working lately, so that’s just not possible for me. So in the meantime, I’ll continue prowling Pinterest, drooling over pictures of sometimes exotic, sometimes quaint, sometimes just perfect locations and getting inspired by each one.
All that said, as soon as I come up with a plot for a book that takes places in Paris, I’m totally hopping on a plane and researching the hell out of that city. Pinterest only goes so far.