Tuesday, 31 January 2017

"Oh, the Places You’ll Wish You Could Go" by Wendy Sparrow

While I love writing, my primary reason for being an author will always be to create stories and worlds that I want to read. Reading is my passion. Getting outside of reality and adventuring in a world inside a book is the purest form of escape I’ve found. I could live in books. I’ve wanted to live in books—especially when I stumble into a setting that is magical on its own.

The lodge in all three of the Servants of Fate books is like that. It’s a mountain lodge with all sorts of winter and holiday festivities. It’s cozy and yet has an energy of its own. The characters can retreat to their room for a quiet night or get involved in the events the lodge provides. There’s a restaurant onsite, but also they provide amazing room service. No way in a million years could I afford to stay in this place, but it’s not posh and fancy. It’s also not outside the realm of possibility.

In order to create everything from the menu to the events, I surfed the internet looking for similar places. Admittedly, the end result is an amalgamation of many places, but it’s not unheard of for similar locations to exist. And I want to go there. Possibly more than I’ve wanted to visit any of the places I’ve invented. It’s a blend of magic and reality, and it’s why there’s three books—I kept wanting to return.

This isn’t the first time I’ve made up places—though admittedly usually I peg down a state and often a city. My lycan/werewolf series takes place in the Glacier Peak area in Washington. The city itself is made up, but the location isn’t. (Taming the Pack series) In a recently released anthology, I have a romance horror novella that takes place in a completely made-up area—but I can’t say I’d want to visit, especially Parson Point and the spooky woods where a woman in white ghost lurks. (She Wore White, Legendary Anthology)

I read and enjoy books set in both locations I’d love to visit and locations that would be impossible to visit. I’d love to visit Hogwarts. *sighs* I’d also love to visit Regency England. *double sigh* Admittedly, on the second, I’d like to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I have a strong passionate need for modern conveniences—especially plumbing. I love plumbing. On the other hand, I snatch up books about New Orleans in my hot, greedy hands. If it takes place in New Orleans, a book gets a one star bump in rating automatically. I’m not familiar enough with the city to set a whole book there myself, but I will happily visit it again and again in other authors’ books—and in real life.

Luckily, I had the opportunity to live a lot of different places when I was younger as my family was in the military so I have a lot of experience in various cities to draw from when creating my own settings. Then, there is the blessing that is our technological ability to study the crap out of other places via Google. I’ve used Google Earth to “walk” down streets I might want to borrow many times.

The old adage is usually true, though…while I love to visit real and made-up places through reading and writing, I wouldn’t necessarily want to live in all of them. For one thing, I’d be afraid of ruining it. If you’ve ever been on a vacation just a few days too long, you know what I’m saying. You’re running low on clothes to wear. The togetherness of whomever you’re with is getting a bit too intense. You’ve done the things you wanted to do. The bloom is off the rose.

Also, I think anywhere you stay for a significant length of time—you become accustomed to it and take the scenery for granted. The other day, someone saw my front yard on Twitter and asked if I live somewhere tropical because it’s so green. Washington State is very, very green all year, and I sometimes forget that until I go elsewhere and my skin shrivels and my lips crack. I feel like a desiccated mummy. This is my home, and I love it to pieces. My wandering days are over.

But the chance to visit all these place through books…that magic never gets old, partly because you know it ends, like it or not. The fleeting nature of your travels are like those fly-by-night insane trips you might have taken in college. “Let’s go to Vegas for a night!”


“Let’s drive eight hundred miles to Canada for the weekend!”

“Woot! Woot!”

“Let’s go to Hogwarts.”

“Bag and owl are packed!”

“Hmm, snowy lodge with one of the sons of Father Time…”

“You had me at hmm.”

I hope you get the chance to visit my mountain lodge and stay a while—through three books at least. *winks* 😉

Tour Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A handmade original choker from Neath the Veil’s "Every Rose has its Thorn" collection. Soft woven ribbon holds a gorgeous cream and black rose cameo set in a silver finish frame. It drapes down 5 inches from the top of choker to the bottom. The length is sized from 11-1/2 inches to 16 inches by clasp and adjustable chain. This giveaway is international.

Additionally, three paperback copies of the anthology Legendary will be given away individually. The anthology is edited by Laura Harvey and contains an urban legend inspired story by Wendy Sparrow. These copies may be won by those in the U.S. or Canada.

The final giveaway item is a $10 USD Amazon gift card which is open to countries with Amazon sites.

About the Author: After a childhood spent wandering as a military brat, Wendy Sparrow found her home in Washington State. Her days involve convincing her two kids she knows how to properly parent and her nights showing her husband all the cool things romance authors know… or goofing around online… or reading, but mostly the first thing.

She’s active in OCD and autism communities and writes on her blog to support awareness in both. With her whole heart, Wendy believes everyone deserves a happily-ever-after. If she's not writing or wrangling kids, she's on Twitter, @WendySparrow, where she'll chat with anyone about anything.

Learn more about the author at wendysparrow.com.

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