Sorry I’ve been absent on my blog again! Shame on me!
If any of you have ever orchestrated an estate sale, then you will understand that all my time was consumed. But now, I can breathe a relieved sigh, and get back to what I truly love…writing!!
In the midst of the craziness, my husband and I got away for a one-day trip to Chattanooga, TN. Beautiful city with a gorgeous downtown area and riverside. The purpose of the trip was to meet up with an old friend who now works with her husband on the American Queen and other steamboats. They’re both entertainers and have been working on the boats for the last fifteen years. (What a great job, huh?!)
Laura Sable and I used to do theater together. We hadn’t seen each other in twenty years! Of course, neither of us have aged. ;0)
So, here’s my advice to you. When you write a book about steamboats, and have only traveled on a pint-size one on a lake, it’s wise to take a tour of a REAL steamboat like the American Queen. Laura was one of my Beta readers on my book, “Marked.” The book takes place in 1850 on a Mississippi River steamboat. I researched via the internet as well as books and photos, but stepping aboard the luxurious boat was an experience I’ll never forget! There are things now that I know I could add to the descriptions in my book, (and I still can). I’m happy to say that both she and her husband, Bill read the book and told me that I got it right on the money. WHEW! And…they enjoyed it, which made me feel even better.
I know that we can’t always go to the places we write about, but it sure helps if you’re able. I use Google Earth frequently to check out landscape and such, but there is nothing like breathing the same air your characters breathe. I know…I can’t time travel, but I can use my vivid imagination to sense what it must have been like way back when. I’m a romantic at heart, and there’s something glorious about an elegant ship, and picturing ladies and gentleman in fine clothing cascading down the fanned stairway.
When I stepped into the dining hall, I felt like I’d walked into a scene from “Titanic.” We now want very much to travel by steamboat. And…I may have to write another book about them with all the new tidbits I’ve learned.
Thank you Laura and Bill for an amazing tour and adventure!
And to all of you working on your next masterpiece…step into the shoes of your characters, and walk where they walked.