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  • Writer's pictureRosemary Gemmell

Travel Inspiration for Writing

We’ve been very fortunate to have travelled widely over many years as husband was a travel professional, including being a director of an independent travel agency and a consultant for a luxury cruise company. Thankfully, he retired just as the pandemic was about to cause untold chaos in that industry and others.

Although we haven’t been abroad in recent years (so far), I have so many wonderful experiences to remember, as well as copious photographs. I also began collecting fridge magnets when the children were young and the photo shows the biggest selection of some of the places we’ve visited.

As well as broadening the mind (as they say), travel provides great opportunities for a writer of fiction and non-fiction. I often wait a few years before using a destination as it gives me time to appreciate it more. One of the first countries to provide background in my fiction was the fascinating Mediterranean island of Cyprus, especially because of its history, archaeology and mythology.

We took a family holiday to Paphos in Greek Cyprus, some years after the Turkish invasion of the island and before its huge tourist expansion. Since this was the legendary place of Aphrodite’s birth, it was inevitable I should set some stories there. I’ve always loved Greek mythology so gave the three novellas in the Aphrodite and Adonis series a touch of mythological fantasy. Aphrodite and her lover, Adonis, walk amongst modern day visitors, choosing one couple in each book who needs their help. A short story set on the island was published in the US World of Romance magazine many moons ago.

Another favourite destination is Venice which we’ve visited several times, including a week staying in a hotel where our room overlooked the canal that goes under the Bridge of Sighs. Very romantic! My love and experience of the city eventually featured in the novella Venetian Interlude. I also set a short story there in 1571, An Unsuitable Suitor, which was published in The People’s Friend Summer Special last year.

At the moment, I’ve more or less finished the first draft of a new novella, this time set in beautiful Vienna, where we enjoyed a fabulous holiday some years ago. Hopefully, it will be redrafted, edited and published before summer is over! I still have many countries to write about but will need to find the right characters and story ideas.

Of course, our own country, wherever that might be, can provide excellent background material for our writing. I’m lucky to live in Scotland, land of mountains, glens and misty lochs, not to mention legends, and I’ve only skimmed the surface of my imagination so far. Three of my novels are inspired by the areas I’ve called home, two around the west coast, The Highland Lass and Return to Kilcraig, and one towards the east and Fife, Highcrag.

Scotland has also provided me with many non-fiction historical articles, most of which were published in the American magazine, The Highlander, now sadly closed. My Scottish articles are now together in non-fiction collection, Scotland People and Places.

Other published travel articles have included:

  • The Cliff Divers of Acapulco; Luxury on the Orient Express; Portmeirion - all published in Scottish Home and Country magazine

  • Passage Through Panama, on a Senior Travel site

  • Jersey; Disney World - both in a local newspaper

  • Dominica (a favourite island in the Caribbean); Algarve in Portugal – both published on a long-ago Synergise online travel site.

  • Many others online for US and Canadian sites to which I used to contribute.

Hopefully, I’ll be putting together a collection of non-fiction travel articles at some point!

Meanwhile, although the three Aphrodite and Adonis individual novellas are still available in e-book, I’ve put all three together in one volume, Aphrodite and Adonis Series, at a special price of £1.99 for the e-book for a limited time. A paperback version of the combined novellas is also available at £7.99.

Let me know if travel has inspired your writing.


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