Thursday, 19 July 2012

Holiday memories and book research... A lovely day of remembering...

So, what's been happening today, then?  Well, writing!  That's what's been happening today.  Yes, I'm pleased to say that I've finally turned the corner with this new book of mine, stopped fannying about with this editing-as-I-go lark and actually started concentrating on the story and the characters.  The faffing about can wait until the editing/rewriting process begins.

It's been a funny week so far but, after a couple of days of knuckling down and concentrating on what's really important, I think I've got my focus back.  And I'm not intending to let it go quite so easily again.

Levi town centre
So, as I continue work on my new book, I've started doing a lot of research into the resort of Levi in Finnish Lapland, where my new book is set because, although I have visited Levi in the past, it was a while ago now and the resort has changed dramatically since I was last there.  When we visited, the resort consisted of a few hotels, a Spar shop and, as far as I can remember, a bar near the bottom of the ski slopes where we spent most of New Year's Eve, 1998 - when we weren't sledging down the ski slopes like a load of overgrown kids.  That was so much fun!  But now a whole town has sprung up with shops, bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and apartments.  And it looks amazing!

The Hotel Levitunturi, where I stayed on my own visit to Levi, Lapland.
So, it's proving to be a wonderfully calming and extremely enjoyable task, all this research, bringing back memories of an absolutely amazing holiday.  And yes, I did try ski-ing, and failed miserably.  Although, to be fair, I didn't actually fall over until day 3 of ski school, so I'm classing that as quite an achievement.

Lapland truly is a beautiful place, especially at Christmas, and I have to say, after doing all this research and seeing how much the resort of Levi has changed, I really, really want to go back there!  But, at the minute, I shall have to make do with making sure my characters enjoy what Levi has to offer - from the strange hours of daylight at that time of year (three, on average!), to the wonderfully different array of food to the incredible excursions on offer from snow-mobiling over frozen lakes to reindeer-sleigh driving (I did that! Actually, I did both of those excursions...) and, of course, surely Lapland wouldn't be the same without a trip to see Santa Claus? 

The Levi ski-slopes in early afternoon.
Anyway, I thought I'd post a couple of images of Levi to give you just a small idea of where my next book is going to be set - a beautiful place where, I hope, beautiful things happen for my characters.  And I only hope they enjoy this wonderful place as much as I did, but then, that's really up to me to make sure of that, isn't it? ;-)

Speaking of which, I think it's about time I got back to that research... I just love that feeling you get when you know a story is finally coming together, thanks to some incredible inspiration...

Oh, before I go, though, speaking of inspiration, no romance would be complete without a rather hot and handsome male character, would it?  So, watch this space to find out just who's provided the inspiration for the character of Zac, a ski instructor and laid-back rocker who I'm certainly enjoying creating!


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