I’m delighted to interview writing partners, Cass Grafton and Ada Bright today, about the places that have inspired their writing. Welcome to you both, especially to Cass, who is going to do the talking 🙂
Thank you for hosting us today on your Travel Thursday feature, Karen. It’s lovely to be back! My instinctive response to the question of places that inspire me to write was to say Cornwall, something I know Karen will fully appreciate!
I certainly do! 🙂
However, when I gave it a little more thought, I realised it isn’t just that beautiful county with its rolling countryside, atmospheric moorlands and rugged coastline peppered with quaint fishing villages that inspires me – it’s the whole of the West Country.
In the 1990s, we lived for several years in beautiful, rural Somerset, our first real introduction to that part of the country other than a few holidays passed as a child in Devon or Cornwall.
We fell in love, making many a day trip, with the children bundled into the car, to the Jurassic coast of Dorset, with Lyme Regis a clear favourite, the north Devon coast around Woolacombe and south-east Cornwall – Looe, Polperro and Fowey.
Though these places continue to inspire me to write, it was another part of the West Country that not only was part of the inspiration for a story but also became the setting. My co-writing partner, Ada Bright – who lives in California – and I met up in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bath in the spring of 2015 to plot out our story, which we intended to base there.
I cannot say enough about the experience of plotting out a story while staying in the actual destination in which it is set. Ada and I walked the exact streets we would send our characters along, chose the locations of their accommodation, ate lunch or dinner in the restaurants they would frequent and shared drinks sat at the same bar stools where we would seat them. Co-authoring can present a challenge in any circumstances, never mind the life-long cultural divide and 9-hour time difference between us. Having the city of Bath as the common ground from which to work helped us pull the whole story together in a painless, cohesive way.
To make the location both dynamic and credible through the eyes of the characters, we chose a heroine born and bred in the city, so she knew it well. This contrasted well with her friend, Morgan, an American who is experiencing Bath for the first time through the eyes of a foreigner ie as a tourist. This was not unlike our actual circumstances, in that I am English and Bath is one of my favourite cities, so I have visited numerous times and know it quite well, versus Ada, who also counts the city as a favourite but she had only been there twice for very short visits.
Our approach went well, however; so well, in fact, we have made a pact that anytime we write together we need to be experiencing the setting together. So watch for our next book, coming soon – we just need to decide whether to set it in Australia or the deepest jungle!
Meet Cass and Ada
Cass Grafton is an author and explorer who loves travel, words, and wine. She is a British ex-pat living in Switzerland with her patient and lovely husband.
Ada Bright is an author, wife, mother, friend and all around lover of stories. She grew up in Southern California, where she maintains a fun household and yearns for rain once in awhile.
Their book – set in Bath
It’s September, and the city of Bath is playing host to the annual Jane Austen Festival, a celebration of the famous author and her works.
Rose Wallace, Bath resident and avid Jane Austen fan, can’t wait for her friends to arrive and the Festival to start, unaware one of the recently arrived guests will turn her life upside down by sharing with her a secret that ultimately puts Jane Austen’s entire literary legacy at risk.
With the support of a displaced two hundred year old author and a charmed necklace, can Rose help to bring back some of the most beloved stories of all time and turn her own life around in the process?
Available from Amazon
Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Cass and Ada!
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