In the late 90’s I traveled in France, North Africa, and The Czech Republic, not as research for a novel, but to take pictures. When I decided to write A World I Never Made in 2005, I found that the images, sights, sounds, people, places, even smells of these countries came back to me with such vividness that I knew I could describe them not only credibly but in a way that put the same scenes as vividly, or nearly so, into the reader’s mind as he or she went through the book.
The thing about traveling, I think, is that it stirs the imagination in ways that you don’t know are happening, a sort of stealth insight is gained that you don’t know you have until you sit down later and start to create something, a painting for example, or in my case a novel. A World I Never Made started with the idea of an estranged father and daughter and what road they might take to redeeming what they thought was a lost relationship. It became a thriller or suspense novel as well, with settings that are inherently romantic to a reader, a combination that I could not have accomplished without buying those airline tickets.
James LePore is The Story Plant’s Author of the Month, which means we are offering sensational deals on his work. You can read more about the program here.