Whether I'm reading or writing, background is one of the most important elements of a novel to me. I suppose it follows that research is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. I try always to follow Jane Austen's advice. Her niece Anna enquired of Aunt Jane as to whether or not the characters in a novel Anna was writing should go to Ireland. Jane replied, "Let [your characters] go to Ireland, but as you know nothing of the manners there, you had better not go with them. You will be in danger of giving false representations." I try never to set a scene anywhere I haven't actually walked.
One of my goals as a writer is to put my reader in the scene. I wish I could actually take my readers there so they could see, feel, taste and hear what my characters are experiencing. Failing that, I offer you my photos of many of the places Felicity and Antony visited on their adventure. I hope you enjoy the show.
The Monastery Gardens
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