“We do not put beauty or love or order into the world. We find them there.” ~ James Hillman: The Force of Character (1999).
One of the first pieces of fiction writing advice I received was to ‘use my senses’. To be honest, I had no idea how. As an academic of the absent-minded professor variety (as my university students will attest) I often didn’t notice what was around me, wandering around campus lost in thought. So, one by one, I decided to ‘romance my senses’ in my own backyard, by exploring the region where I live and writing about each sense. What an adventure!
The first in the senses series is Black Diamonds, set in the world of delicious truffles. It focused on taste. Western Australia, where I live, is a wine region, but I didn’t know it was also a truffle region. Yum! When the novel was accepted by Harlequin, my husband and I were so thrilled we threw caution (and savings) to the wind and flew to France to explore the other location in Black Diamonds in the south of France. Bon appetit! It was one of the most exciting trips of my life.
Hide and Seek, number two in the ‘senses series’, is all about sight and sound. To my own astonishment and that of my family, who soon joined in, I became a bird-watcher, discovering the extraordinary birdlife in the Australian bush, in particular in Broome, the gorgeous Hide and Seek location on the north coast of Western Australia. Birds are all we have left of the angels, I’ve heard it said, and appreciating them has added a heavenly dimension to life. Now, I’m always wishing I had my binoculars.
The third in the senses series is a novella called Wild Flower. You guessed it – all about scent. The flowers that bloom in Western Australia include rare, tiny orchids I would previously have stepped on or walked on by. Now I stop and breathe in the scents, but I don’t pick them (if you read the story you’ll find out why). The other location in Wild Flower is Singapore, where I’ve often visited to give lectures. It’s an orchid hot spot too, but I’d never even been to the Botanic Gardens. It will now always be a stop on my itinerary.
And touch? Well, all romances are about exploring the sense of touch!
In your own backyard, in the place where you live, there are unique tastes, sights, scents, textures and sounds just waiting for you to discover them.
Find the beauty, love and order in your world.
Begin your adventure…
Romance YOUR senses.
Check out the books in the series at Harlequin Escape Publishing