Thursday, October 19, 2006

Number one Gift? Travel!

I noticed something interesting in reading the responses to my "Perfect Gift" question. Topping most lists -- either as something you'd like to give, or to get -- was the gift of travel.

I, of course, agree. :)

I've always loved to travel, whether on my own or with friends or family. When I was a kid, my parents used to take us camping, which was great fun. I loved exploring the campsites and getting "back to nature". (Although the memory of watching the shadows of the banana slugs as they crawled over the tent all night long is still a bit too vivid, if you ask me.) Sometimes we'd go boat camping, throwing our tent and sleeping bags in our 15-foot bowrider and heading off to some tiny island with pit toilets and not much else.

I, uh, prefer a little more in the way of modern conveniences these days.

One trip that really stands out for me was my trek through Europe after I graduated from college. I'd worked three part-time jobs my senior year to save up for the trip; several friends and I had been planning it for quite some time.

And then, one by one, they all dropped out. I think they assumed I would cancel, too, but instead I spent three months wandering Europe on my own with a backpack and a Let's Go travel guidebook. It was an amazing experience.

I think that's part of what I love about writing -- the chance to explore new places, even if I don't get to go there physically.

One place that's really special to me is the island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. I fell in love with it on that long-ago trip to Europe, and have always vowed I'd go back someday. And by setting Ritual Love on that wonderful island, I've had the chance to spend some more time researching and reminiscing about it. I still want to go back, but in a way, writing the book gave me the chance to do just that.

Speaking of Ritual Love, I received my first review for it this week, from Rites of Romance Reviews. Adra gave it four half-moons, and I'm OVER the moon at the write-up! A snippet:

"Ms. Davies’ story is full of magic and wonder. The pace is quick and the writing is smooth and crisp. ... Ritual Love is a perfect choice for a short, entertaining read."

Thanks, Adra!

And thanks to all of you who took the time to respond to my last post.

Tonight's question: What settings do you love in books? Is there a place you wish someone would write about?

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