For the writers amongst you, I've put the links to my series on how to write a Harlequin Presents in the sidebar. Scroll down to the “For Writers” category, and all the posts are listed there to make it easier to find in future. Hope you enjoy. 🙂
I'm still buried in this Russian book, but things are looking better. I was browsing the web for images for my inspiration file, and I came across these that I want to share with you. (Yes, these were taken by talented photographers who are not me.) 🙂
I believe this is from the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, but I'm not quite sure. (It might also be from the Smolny Convent.) Years ago, and I won't say how many, ahem, I had the privilege of traveling to Russia. We flew to St. Petersburg first (still called Leningrad, if that gives you an idea), and spent 3 days there before boarding an overnight train to Moscow, where we spent another 3 days. It was an amazing trip. The palaces are beautiful, and the landscape was prettier than I expected it to be. Fortunately, we were there in May, and it was quite warm. It also never got fully dark at that time of year.
This next picture is of Peterhof, Peter the Great's palace on the Gulf of Finland. We got to tour it, and I have a photo of me standing on one of the bridges over the canal with this palace in the background. It's an amazingly beautiful place, full of gilt and art and antiques. My hero also has a palace, but it's not this grand. And of course he had to buy it back from the State after the fall of communism. But looking at these photos gives me an idea of what his palace is like, though on a smaller scale.
This is the Winter Palace, also known as The Hermitage Museum. It's a gorgeous palace on the banks of the Neva river. We spent hours wandering through the galleries. I see this photo as representing my hero's home. The Winter Palace is actually quite grand and vast, but this small slice of it makes it look like it could be a grand house on an estate somewhere. I especially love the snow capped trees.
More info on the Winter Palace here.
I love finding photos for inspiration. It's one of the most fun parts of beginning a new book. Thank heavens for Google! You can have photos at your fingertips and start writing about a place you've never been in a matter of hours. Yes, I've been to Russia, but I've never been to Argentina (The Devil's Heart, July 2010 UK) or the Arabian desert (Kept for the Sheikh's Pleasure, Sep 2010 UK). As much as I'd like to go to these places for real, I'm grateful for the tools that bring them to my fingertips. Even with Russia, it's been a long time and I needed a refresher.
Lynn, Google is my best friend. Because I’ve been to…well…Tijuana. Not very Presents. 😀 Well, actually, I’ve set books in San Diego (or rather had characters based out of San Diego) and I’ve been there. And my second book (A Mistake, A Prince And A Pregnancy) is set briefly in Washington state, my neighbor to the north, and I’ve been there. 🙂
Hi, Maisey! Well, if we were limited to places we’d been, our books would probably get boring after a while. 🙂
I absolutely love the freedom we have in Presents to do all these fabulous global settings! I’m already thinking about the next book, in the back of my mind, and wondering what fabulous place I can visit next. 🙂
True, true! Yeah, the setting are SO much fun to write. In my first book we go from New York to Hawaii and in my second Washington to my fictional island nation. Diversity I haz!
I’m going to do Hawaii one of these days! Of course I’ll need to travel back there for research. Three years living there weren’t enough…. 😉
Love the photos, Lynn. Sure makes me want to go to Russia. The museum reminds me of Doctor Zivago. And Peter The Great’s palace looks somewhat similiar to the palace in Munich, except the Munich palace sits on flatter ground.
I *love* Dr. Zhivago! Periodically, the hubby and I will put that on the big screen and have a movie night. Such a fabulous movie. I read the book when I was nineteen — it’s a little bit different, but still so fabulous.
I haven’t been to the Munich palace you’re talking about. But oh, isn’t Europe just filled with these things? It’s amazing!
Oh yes! And even after seeing so many castles and such, I never feel as though I’ve seen enough.
Did you ever cruise the Rhine?
Beautiful pics!!! I love the beautiful places books let me travel. It makes me want to actually visit there some day.
Glad you like the pics, Denise! I’d love to go back there someday. And I definitely love the travel in books! I can’t wait to see where the Harlequin Presents authors will take me every month — there was even a book set in a Nordic country recently!