People often say that when they read my books they feel like they are right there in the scene with my characters whether it be on a ship with sea spray showering their face or having tea in the parlor of some southern mansion. I can't say that I know exactly how I'm able to pull that off, but I will tell you that by nature I'm very attuned to my surroundings. I believe that places, whether outside or inside, have a "feel" to them. Maybe it's spiritual, maybe it's just a combination of scents and temperature and general atmosphere. I don't know.
Have you ever walked into a place and instantly felt something...perhaps a darkness, a heaviness in the air, or alternatively, a sweetness, a peace? If you have, then you probably know what I mean. Every place has a "spirit". That's the spirit I try and capture when I'm writing a scene.
My hero and heroine are traveling together through the tropical foliage, so I stopped my writing often, closed my eyes, and imagined what they must be feeling, seeing and hearing. First of all, the heat would be so oppressive, and that, along with the thick humidity, would make it feel as though you were in a sauna. All around you birds, insects and other creatures would be chirping and buzzing. Leaves would crunch beneath your shoes as you walked, twigs would snap. Lizards, frogs and toads would be climbing tree trunks all around you. Spiders and other insects would fill the air: Butterflies, moths, flying beetles, flies, gnats, mosquitoes. In the distance you hear the sound of rushing water. Something bites your neck. You slap it and feel the sweat coating your skin. The air is so heavy with moisture, you feel like you're slogging through water. Vines drop from trees and crawl over the
Now, close your eyes, put yourself in the jungle, and see if you can feel the heat and hear the sounds!
If you need help, click here, and play the jungle music.
I believe part of the wonder of reading a good book is being able to travel to other places, exotic places that you may never have a chance to see in your lifetime. How many of us have actually sailed on a tall ship, heard the snap of sails, felt the wind on our faces?? Yet, you can do just that through a good sea-faring story. Or how about ride through the streets of London in a stylish phaeton heading to an evening soiree in your best gown?? We will never experience that in real life... but we can experience in through the pages of a good book!! That's why I love reading so much. It takes me away to another place and time.
This picture says it all!
How about you? Do you feel that way when you read a book?