I love to take my readers to a variety of environs in the worlds I create. Images of mountains, a castle, underground caverns, a ship, a tropical island, and even a horrifying bog go through their minds–just in the first three books of my Alissia Roswell Series! The fourth one, Unexpected Beginning, will add a wild forest, underground world, and a valley to the list.

I put a lot of effort in describing each setting, hoping to immerse my readers in Alissia’s reality, and I’ve received a lot of praise on that aspect. Nature plays an important role in my writing, and people often tell me they would love to live in a world with glowing flowers and stones instead of electricity.

With that said, I won’t be around wi-fi next week, as I’ll be taking my yearly break from reality and immersing myself in nature. This year’s outdoor adventure takes place on a boat, as we plan to spend a week sailing along the coast. I’ll post some pictures on Facebook and Instagram during the trip and will add a blog post when I return.

If interested, you can check out last year’s backpacking adventure on Cumberland Island, where I planned most of Unexpected Beginning during the many hours of hiking. I asked my children to help come up with some new creatures, and my oldest daughter gave me some great ideas.

I use all my senses to take in everything around me when I’m outdoors, and you can see that in my writing. For instance, there’s a certain clean smell that comes with waterfalls, along with the ferns and rocky terrain, where small vipers love to hide. Birds (or howler monkeys in the jungle) add to the waterfall sounds.

In my youth, I often camped along the banks of rivers and in swamps, where I would fall asleep staring up at the stars. A cool breeze, the sound of alligators croaking and their yellow, glowing eyes still come to mind (along with killer mosquitoes). I also spent many nights beneath a full moon on the beach, waiting for seine nets to be pulled in with their loads.

Sailing, backpacking, paddle boarding, biking, canoeing, kayaking, hunting, dune buggying (where my hubby screamed in terror the whole time I drove) or just sleeping in a hammock–they all get used in my writing. And now that I’m older and live in the suburbs of Atlanta, it’s even  more important to my sanity that I occasionally get away from modern comforts.

Perfection equals a starry sky, cup of hot tea, cool breeze, and the sound of waves against the boat. That’s where you’ll find me, typing away on my laptop–giving life to Alissia’s story.

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you know I have two new dogs (one from abuse). Don’t worry, though. I have family staying with them, so they’ll still be in their new home environment and on the same schedule. I plan to write a post in the future about them, highlighting the effects of trauma on dogs.

Be back soon! Live life to the fullest–get outdoors!