If you've been following my blog you know I'm currently tackling a writing challenge. When I first took this on I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to work on. I had a couple projects in the works, plus final edits of Framed, my upcoming mystery that I hope will be the first of the Kay Conroy mystery series! (check out the cover in an earlier post!)
But the gauntlet of a writing challenge called for just that, a challenge. In the back of my mind I'd thought that I might like to tackle a sequel to The Shell Keeper someday, but that seemed a little presumptuous considering I'd only just published it. Then came the wonderful reviews and, even better, readers who kept asking what happens next?
Pretty soon, I was doing the same thing, and when the challenge came along, I started to give my ideas more than a passing thought. I kinda/sorta knew where I wanted to go, but research, I found, can be a very inspiring thing. While The Shell Keeper was set in a fictional town inspired by Dillon, Colorado, the reservoir, and the lovely little town of Breckenridge, the sequel moves the story west, to where the Rocky Mountains give way to mesas edged by the Colorado River, and the earth and climate form a magically nurturing mix conducive to lush vineyards and ripe peach orchards.
The area around Palisade, Colorado offers much inspiration for the book's fictional location, but I have to admit the research is too much fun. Years ago I had friends who moved to the area to start a very successful winery. We've lost touch over time, but their adventure, and my brief excursions in the area left indelible memories that obviously tempted me to revisit it in fiction.
Of course, I hope my research will actually take me there in person someday soon. I'm thinking a visit to the vineyards, perhaps for the next harvest and Winefest, would be very inspiring...and tasty, too!
Photo courtesy of High Country Orchards and Vineyards