You guys, on the blog today is Julianne Donaldson, author of the fantastic historical romance novel Edenbrooke. She is talking about her travels to England and how they helped inspire her writing.
I had been working on Edenbrooke for a year when I started dreaming of going to England myself. It seemed absolutely impossible–I had three small kids and a husband in law school–but I felt like it was essential for writing a good story to actually see what I was writing about. Luckily, my husband supported my dream, and I had a friend who was happy to come along. I still can’t believe we made it happen. But I was right–it really did make all the difference in the world.
I took a walking tour of Bath, admired the beautiful buildings there, and discovered the gravel path Marianne liked to walk every morning as well as the Royal Crescent where she lived with her grandmother. I drove the countryside and was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. Coming from a desert, everything looked unbelievably green to me. It was so green it hurt to look at. And touring a great estate really opened up my eyes to what life at Edenbrooke might have been like. I had been dreaming too small until I saw a real grand house and a real great estate. (The proportions are unbelievable.) It gave me settings for some of my favorite scenes in the book.
And just saying, “I’m in England to do research on my novel” was very empowering. It made it seem as if writing this book was not a pipe dream–that it actually might come to fruition, and that was the best gift that England gave me.