It's always exciting to start writing a new novel. One of the joys of typing "Chapter One" at the top of the page is that you, as the author, get to travel to a new place.
I distinctly remember how happy I felt a year ago when I wrote the opening of my recently published novel, Love on Lido Key. Lido Beach, which is just off the causeway from mainland Sarasota, is a gorgeous strip of white sand overlooking a gentle bay.
I couldn't believe my good fortune--just by sitting down to write every morning, I got to go to the beach! It might be pouring rain outside the window in my study--and there might be hurricane-force winds bearing down on our house--but I still was sitting on the sand with my hero and heroine, Janie and Nick, listening to the tide coming in and watching the sun set in its usual Sarasota-spectacular way.
One of the sorrows of finishing writing a novel is that you need to say goodbye to what you now think of as "your" place. But luckily I live close enough to Lido Key to get there once or twice a year. This past weekend my husband and I boarded our two golden retrievers and went down to Lido. Sitting on the sand watching the sunset, I felt sad that I could no longer come here in my imagination, but happy I'd had the chance to immortalize this beloved place in a novel that I hope will touch the hearts of readers.