You asked if where I live affects my writing? The answer is ‘Yes, it does, very much.’ My novels are about Canadian places, fictional characters and real social concerns that Canadians face or have faced. When I went sailing, I thought I would write about the many places I would visit – to share the various cultures. But, I now know, in order to write about such things one has to live there, set roots down and fully understand the dynamics of the people in its entirety. My journey which encompassed Central America, the North and South Pacific lasted five years but was all too short to understand the cultures well enough to create a novel. Now as my Great Adventure slips further back in time the memories get all hazy and I am glad that I have the dozens of documentaries to refresh my memory.

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And although I do not know the people and cultures of places I had visited well enough to write about, I do send my ‘characters’ on worldly adventures, to places I have been. The key is to weave together the threads of a traditional setting. Truth can be stretched, to a degree, but not physical distance if the setting is meant to be realistic.

Some authors use:

  1. Guidebooks, online travel sites and other books/websites.
  2. Travel blogs.
  3. Google Earth and Google street maps.
  4. Interview someone who has been there.

Perhaps one day I might attempt writing about a foreign spiritual culture or tyrannical government but even then I will have to research and visit the place – I’m thinking Russia, St Petersburg has always intrigued me. To exaggerate aspects of that world would be to breach the trust of my readers. Therefore I remain fastidious about keeping it real through my own experience and research.

For now I write about my Canada.

“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”