Aside from the obvious essentials of chocolate and coffee, I have found these three additional elements critical to my writing life.
The first is an inspiring setting in which to work. When I was writing Kat's Law, the barn made an excellent work space once the temperatures rose above freezing. For the story setting of a woman who knew her way around guns and horses, there wasn't a better place to position my laptop than near the horses. When I wrote Comes The Winter, I moved inside. It was winter at the time. I pulled the desk near the wood stove with a view to the snow-capped mountains.
For the book I'm currently writing, A Light From Friday Harbor, I've moved outside to our little travel trailer. Because the setting is an island in Washington's archipelago of the San Juan Islands, I wanted a feeling of some isolation. With Jimmy, the ginger cat, it is a cozy cabin.
Pandora Radio allows me to make a very specific playlist. Instrumentals are the best with a style that fits the scene I'm writing at the time. From Gypsy Jazz to Copland, the style must fit the emotional mood. A Light From Friday Harbor, set in 1932, has a protagonist named Jazz; the choice was obvious. Linda Rondstadt's album, For Sentimental Reasons, has been the primary musical background along with Ella Fitzgerald singing Gerswin. Listen to Linda singing But Not for Me if you want a flavor of the book to come. It's lovely and very romantic.
The third element is obvious for anyone who has read my stories. Sir Jimmy Purrsalot and Havoc are my two cats who have made cameo appearances under various names. Jimmy will play a critical role in the mystery/suspense I'm writing now. He might be channeling a bit of Dr. Watson.
I can't leave out the horses, Strider and Remy, who have been a part of the family for a very long while. They like to take it easy these days as you can see from this photo of them sleeping in the pasture. We refer to Strider as Ferdinand now. He likes to eat while reclining.
The pets bring humor and realism to the stories I write. With their unique personalities, they deserve their own character arcs.
Setting, Pets, Music, and Chocolate are the essentials,
and maybe a cup or two of coffee.
Do these essentials suit readers as well?
Meet the Author
The harsh winter of the Sawtooth mountains would not separate them.
Her love would light his way back home.
Comes The Winter by Samantha St. Claire
Genre: Historical Fiction
Heat Level: 1
Language Level: 1
Violence Level: 1
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