Perhaps it’s a case of absence making the heart grow fonder -- the longest stretch of time that’s passed without my visiting Turkey is four years. And when I look back now, I see a direct correlation between not going back for so long, and having the place -- sights and smells and history -- creep into my writing.
From the middle grade story that featured a boy and a cat travelling back in time to when Ephesus was a major port in the Roman Empire, to the historical romances I’m currently querying (both set in the Mediterranean countries, including the Ottoman Empire, at the end of the 15th Century), Turkish history -- and poetry, not to mention the food! - is seeping into every novel. I hope I’m writing the scenes in a way that does credit to my memories.
view of Ephesus road, with hills in the background
Very recently, though, I've come close, with the first paranormal I've ever written: a Beauty and the Beast tale, about a thousand year old Druidic legend, uncovered during an archaeological dig at an ancient cavern somewhere in Britain. Hopefully this will lead to even more stories set in the North.
Then someday I might write about characters doing what I’ve always wanted to do -- take the ferry from Dover to Calais, and drive all across the continent to Istanbul.
Do your characters travel a lot? Where would you like to take them?