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Applying What You Learn

Thanks for touring around Spain with me these past several weeks (you can see the Spain posts here: Well I've never Been to Spain). I saw SO MUCH, and really had the best time. Since we've been home, I've been trying to capture much of the experience into the new book--the locations, the food, the atmosphere. And most of all, one of the ghost stories I heard.

I spent so much time absorbing everything that I didn't even consider the new story until I got home. Well, that's not entirely true. I did take the Paranormal Tour with the intention of finding inspiration (and I did). But for the rest of the trip, instead of taking copious notes like a good author, I chose to live the experience, to be present. Then, on the last night, we were walking past a storefront (one we'd passed every day while we were there, but apparently not at night), and I saw something that screamed (take a picture!). What was inside was unexpected. It wasn't a store, per se, more of a storeroom with a glass window. Aside from the ghost story I was clinging to, it was the only thing that caught me off guard enough to take notice. I'm hoping to use that photo for the cover of the new book, but we'll see if/how I can incorporate it.

I managed to write all the Spain blog posts shortly after we returned home, and then I buckled in to begin work on the new story, which is coming along great, thanks for asking. I'm about 20k words into it, and dreaming up all kinds of trouble for Elle and Laine and the other people in their lives. I'm also reliving my trip through their eyes, and borrowing experiences from some of the other people who also took the trip to throw at Elle. I've created a Pinterest board to refer back to. Many of the references are in Spanish, but with the magic of the Internet, those pages are easily translated. Not all of the pins will make it into the new book, but they were all things I wanted to know more about after I'd seen them.

Am I using the story I heard while I was in Sevilla? Yes and no. All good stories have to start somewhere, and while I was inspired by some of the things I learned, I've put my own spin on the places I visited and the history that goes with them. Expanded on a theme, you might say. The funny part is that while I'm doing research, I forget the "my own spin" part. While chasing the "real" story, I suddenly find I want to stick to just the facts, ma'am. The research took me to Granada, which is one place we didn't visit. Then I remind myself that the story is loosely based on the legend. I don't have to reference Granada. I can have my characters go someplace I went while they chase leads, like Ronda, for instance. I'm an author. I get to take artistic license. I get to make things up! This isn't something anyone else is going to know and scold me for getting wrong (as opposed to facts that can be verified and checked). It's Fiction.

So back to work, and next week maybe I'll share a snippet with you. In the meantime, if you haven't already read Horned Owl Hollow, get acquainted with Elle Barclay and her ability to see those spirits whose energy remains in this realm! (And don't forget to let me know how you liked it!)

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