I’m off to Italy for a long weekend of relaxation and inspiration. While I will be without internet, I have gone ahead and scheduled a couple of posts, including a review of Anna and the French Kiss (check it out on Friday).

I think travel is one of the best ways to get inspired. Getting out of your box, even if it’s just to go an hour away, gives you a fresh perspective. It lets you get outside of your head. It exposes you to new perspectives, new settings, new people. All things that are extremely valuable tools for a writer.

Researching through first-hand experience

For a while now I’ve been mulling over a fantasy plot that begins in Pompeii. I can look at pictures and read accounts written by people who have been to the ruins, but nothing works better than first hand experience. Of course, I could come back with a completely different idea, or I could come home with nothing, but that’s part of the fun of doing first-hand research. And what better place to do it than in Italy?

How do you research? Do you travel to find inspiration for settings and character? Do you rely on books and the internet? Or are you able to pull everything from your imagination?