Some twenty years ago, I visited Ireland for educational purposes. While I was there to enhance my English skills and prepare for a pretty important test, I also made sure to travel and check out the many fantastic places around the country.
One of the places I had the pleasure to visit while in Ireland was Howth Head. I was in Ireland for several months in the winter of 1992-1993 and even with the cold and unforgiving weather the view from the train was impressive.
A walk on the beach, even under cold temperatures and blasting winds was mandatory. The pier was packed with docked boats waiting for better weather to pepper the dark sea with colorful sails. The angry waves crashed against the rocks with purpose, spraying white veils high in the air.
My walks around the peninsula took me all the way to the lighthouse before I made my way back to the village for some food and to catch the train back to Dun Laoghaire.
That day's adventure imprinted in my mind and has always teased me to go back to Ireland for another visit. The images I carried back with me were painted in my memory and it is what I drew from to write the beach scenes in Ecstasy by the Sea.
The hotel described in the book is a real hotel, often used to celebrate and officiate weddings. Although I never made it inside the hotel, I walked on the beach and admired the same view seen from its balconies.
It's our personal belief that drawing stories and scenes from personal experience makes them richer and more colorful, almost life-like as they should be. We only hope that the experiences and emotions we both brought forth in writing the book are as vivid to readers as living the moments we drew from were for us.
Do you enjoy reading about places you haven't visited? Do books make you want to travel and see with your own eyes the locations described in the stories you read?
NOTE: This blog post was originally created and published at participating blog hosts during Hot Beach Romance's blog tour.