It did seem like an excellent idea originally. Send my hero and heroine on a road trip. It put them into close contact, forced them to spend night together and seemed exciting, because the villains were chasing them. Great idea!
But I forgot I had to have them travel from real places, like Liverpool, Penrith, Carlisle, Edinburgh. At least I’ve been to Edinburgh and I did look out the window of the bus to see what the countryside looked like, but that had been in the summer and this story takes place in the autumn.
For this road trip, I had to figure out how what route the would take from Liverpool to Edinburgh. My friend Delle Jacobs (Her Majesty, The Prince of Toads) came to my rescue with the coaching route between the two towns. But then I had to figure out what the land would look like from one location to the other, and what villages might have been in between the larger towns.
The internet came to my rescue. I discovered that mapquest.com has UK maps and the little town names were right next to the highlighted line. Then I discovered Google Earth also would show the route and give a hint to the terrain as well.
Next I searched on the various town names to find as many images as I could so I could see what the villages might have looked like.
Then I had to figure out how my hero and heroine would travel on this road trip- public coach? mail coach? Post-chaise?
I decided to have them ride horses, which I know very little about, my experience with the animals being confined to pony rides as a child. My friends from the Beau Monde and the Regency Loop came to my rescue there, with decisions about issues such as sidesaddles and how far they could travel in a day.
Then, of course, I had to write the story.
My hero and heroine are not quite to Edinburgh at this moment, but they are getting there….
Do you even like road trip stories, now that I’m almost done with mine and it is too late to change it now?
Do you mind if an author accidentally puts in some moors where mountains should be? Will you forgive her such mistakes and trust that she really did try to get it right?
Coming to bookstores Nov 1 (That is THIS WEDNESDAY!), Diane’s “A Twelfth Night Tale” in Mistletoe Kisses, Harlequin Historicals Regency Christmas Anthology