To me it does not matter is I am watching a thunderstorm roll in over the Mediterranean sea at night, or walking along the crowded street in Delhi or Kathmandu. What truly matters is my reaction to it and what it feels like to be there.
Of course the way I experience a setting may be completely different from the person standing next to me, and frequently is, especially when that person is not used to the riot of colour, deafening noise and violent assaults on the nostrils that is a city like Kathmandu – but that is what makes a person’s writing and imagination so unique.
The real challenge comes in trying to reproduce the sensory aspects of that location on paper. A good example is the region of France called the Camargue. This is the delta region of the river Rhone as it empties into the Mediterranean Sea. Inland it is lovely Provence and theLanguedoc but on the shore, it is a land of marshland and islands and inland freshwater lakes where the local fisherman farm oysters and mussels.
I came across this part of France when I took a canal boat holiday in the area. Travelling at a maximum speed of 4km an hour and mooring where you wish, it is an ideal way to experience the silence and natural beauty of the contrasting landscapes. Sunflowers and vineyards and pines landwards, and waving grasses, egrets and wild flamingos flying over your headas youreach the coast. Perfumes and scents, the music of the tall reeds and marsh grass and the call of the flamingos. The quality of light has attracted artists for centuries, and the towns are sun baked and quiet and very little English is spoken. Buying wonderful local produce involved much pointing and laughter.
It was one of the most relaxing holidays I have ever had.
Perhaps that is why I chose the Languedoc for the setting of my latest Mills and Boon Romance called ‘The Last Summer of Being Single’ which is released in the UK this month in the RIVA line and March in North America and Australia. I particularly like the sunflowers on the cover!I do hope that you enjoy it and find a true sensory flavour of this lovely part of the world.