Have you ever read a book that made you want to jump on a plane and head straight for the location? I definitely have. I’ve also traveled around the world and visited places I never wanted to leave. In my latest novel, Rarer Than Rubies, I had the pleasure to revisit one of my favorite places, Thailand, in my writing, and hopefully I’ve included enough details about the sights, sounds, scents and excitement of the country to make you love it without a visit. I wrote about some of the great food I ate there—particularly some delicious street food: duck with ginger and anise, and I was craving it long after I finished writing that scene. But if I’ve done my job well, you’ll be ready to grab your passport or at least head for the nearest Thai restaurant.
Where would you like to visit based on a book you’ve read? How did the author make the place come alive for you?
I’ll share one of mine: when I was a kid I loved horses. Probably this sounds familiar to some of you, right? I read every horse-related book I could, including all of Marguerite Henry’s books. One of them was The Wildest Horse Race in the World about the Palio in Siena, Italy. The race has been going on for hundreds of years and it pits different neighborhoods against each other, so much so that married couples from different parts of town split up for the week of the race! It took a long time, but I eventually made it to Italy to watch the Palio. In fact, it’s featured in one of the books I’m working on right now. If you visit my website or personal blog you can keep up with details on when that will be released.
That dream vacation was based on a novel, but I’ve read some great travel writing. I spent a year traveling around Europe and Asia on my own and I read plenty of books to prepare. One of my favorite authors is Paul Theroux. If you want to take an adventure without leaving the house, be sure to check out The Great Railway Bazaar. I read it before I visited many of the places in the book and re-read it after riding on a hundred different trains throughout Europe and Asia. Theroux travels by rail from London to Tokyo as long as there was a train. If not, he flew, but he rode a hell of lot of trains and talked to everyone along the way. His observations about food, culture, plumbing, scenery, and those of his travel companions are priceless. I absolutely love train travel, and wish we had better trains here in the US. It brings you back to a different age and time when getting there was part of the excitement and lure of travel, and when people weren’t in such a damn hurry. Now we rush here and rush there and have lost the joy of getting from place to place and the people we meet along the way.
Have you made it to one of the places you’ve longed to visit? Tell us all about it!
*****EM Lynley works in finance, though she’d rather be writing hot, sexy man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.