One of the best perks of writing is travelling for research. I made a trip to Bodega Bay, CA back in April of 2013 to find the perfect shot for the cover of Redemption.
Now I’m looking for the perfect location for a pivotal, high-powered meeting of nine influential families for the next book in the Gift Legacy series. These families have been threatened and are highly vigilant of their privacy and their security.
Earlier books in the series dictated that the meeting would take place in California. I considered setting the scene in a warehouse, an isolated country manor, or even a barn. And then I thought, why not a winery?
After consultation with friends familiar with California’s wine country, and subsequent online research, I narrowed the possibilities to a climate-controlled cave with wine barrels lining its walls; a private estate down a winding, oak-lined drive; or an 18th century stone castle.
Any of these spectacular locations would make an impressive setting for a clandestine meeting of high-end power brokers. But to describe any of these locations with authenticity, I need to know what they sound like, what they feel like, even what they smell like.
I could see only one solution—road trip!
And what a fabulous trip it’s been. Turns out, every one of these locations has one or more spectacular meeting or dining rooms with impressive furniture in awe-inspiring surroundings. (They also have delicious wine which must be sampled, but I digress.)
Now that all of my senses have been exposed to the potential of these places, I am primed to write the scene. Though it will be a mash-up of several locations, you’ll recognize it when you read it.
Meantime, enjoy some pics from our trip to Pismo Beach, CA, and points north through Napa.
And if you ever have the opportunity to visit this area, I highly recommend it. The scenery is spectacular, as is the wine. But if you’re prone to motion sickness, take something for it before you travel the northern portions of Hwy. 29.