Home and Inspiration

Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.

Don’t forget to click the purple button to see what everyone else has to say on this week’s subject. It’s at the end of my post.

What are your favourite vacation spots and do they ever show up in your books?

I live in Devon, in South-west England. It’s a place of beauty, with rugged moors, wild rivers and amazing coastlines. Even the country lanes have a hypnotic atmosphere.

Now that I’ve retired, every day is a holiday, my wife and I spend as much time out and about as we can.

Here are a few pictures of the area we are lucky enough to live in.

We have our favourite spots but we also keep finding new places to explore, I suspect that we’ll never really see all that this county has to offer.

We’ve both travelled the world in the past. Yvonne accompanied me when I was at sea and we had foreign holidays but, with Devon on our doorstep, why would we ever want to go somewhere else?

With so much inspiration in the locality and so many creative people living in the area, I guess it was inevitable that being in Devon would influence my writing.

The first book I ever wrote was set in the far future. Mankind had colonised large parts of the Galaxy. I called the planet my main character lived on New Devon. I used the local geography around my home to build it, making it a sanctuary for endangered species and a place where the environment was as important as making money. Naturally, I referenced the real Devon as a place in the mythical past of humanity from which the planet had got its name because of its similarity.

Parts of Devon, either the land or the people, also feature in many of my more recent Sci-fi and Steampunk works.

Moving on, I’ve used real locations that I know well in some of my more recent novels, where I’ve moved away from the future and based my writing more in the present time.

To be honest, I’ve found this to be more of a challenge than creating a world from nothing. Largely because everything has to be right. A reader has to be able to walk the streets of your story, take the same time and route between locations, see the landmarks.

If they can’t, it destroys the illusion you are trying to create. I can’t read a story set in the real world that gets that reality wrong.

I seem to have strayed from the prompt again, sorry.

Until next time.

Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.

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10 Responses

    • Richard Dee

      It is, I grew up here, then moved away for forty years before finally coming back to retire.

  1. Samantha J Bryant

    I also have used elements of my home geography in fictional works. Even if you don’t stick 100% with the truth, I feel like it does ground the story and the reader when you start with a real place. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

    • Richard Dee

      Familiarity is important, especially when your story is set in the future, or an alternative now.

  2. Lela Markham

    I use elements of my home state of Alaska in my writing, and while I use a couple of Lower 48 towns as the frame for more modern fiction, I change the name and some elements to make it my own and to avoid that real-world, the reality-doesn’t-match problem.

    I loved your photos. The one of the road through the bush is truly magical.

    • Richard Dee

      Thank you, that road is one I walk most days. As the year passes, it’s lit by the morning sun in so many different ways.

    • Richard Dee

      That’s reassuring. I find it so hard to keep focused on the prompt. The beauty of it is never the same two days running.

  3. Jack Eason

    I never wanted to leave here (Beccles, Suffolk). The trouble was that back in 1958 I was only ten. I eventually got back here in my late fifties…

    • Richard Dee

      I felt the same about leaving Torbay when I was twelve. It took me forty years to get back permanently.

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