I’m currently jaunting about Barcelona on our annual family vacation and whenever I travel, I try to use the places I visit as inspiration for my stories. Today, we visited the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia (Basilica of the Sacred Family), which has been under construction since 1882 (and still not completed). While it’s breathtakingly beautiful, it’s a bit hard for me to imagine using in any of my books, given they take place in the early 1800s.
However, I could definitely picture Michaeline’s characters in a place like this…something designed during the Belle Époque.
We also visited another church, one more up my alley…a traditional Gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of Barcelona.
Now this is someplace I could see characters in my books meeting in secret, with the stained glass and dark/light contrast creating patterns of colors and shadow.
What places have you visited that have provided inspiration? Do you keep a folder of images that you use for inspiration?
Ooh, Barcelona! Good choice! That’s a great city to find creative inspiration, even if you can’t borrow the settings directly.
I often use places I’ve visited as settings for my stories, though I might blend two or three places together or just magpie a particular aspect that suits my needs. Frex, in my Scottish contemporary (unpublished and likely to stay that way, at least for now), the family estate was loosely based on Skibo, Andrew Carnegie’s Highland retreat, but the family home was more like Hardwick Hall, which is in Derbyshire, while the hero’s house on the loch was a reinvention of two country house hotels I loved, a palace perched on a rock surrounded by the sea in Portugal, and a beautiful old house full of light and art on Vancouver Island. Happy memories!
Gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to go to Spain, and just look at that delicate, lacey construction! Solid stone, but transformed! Safe and happy travels to you!
Sedona, AZ did that for me. I spent a week there with a sister and a friend and fell in love. That’s why I set The Demon’s in the Details there.