Influences of Travel

It’s no secret that my stories are heavily influenced by my experiences traveling. I spent six months between high school and college backpacking around Europe and living in northern Italy. I also spent my junior year in Finland and am now living in Ecuador. All have helped shape elements in my books to one degree or another.

So, I wasn’t surprised when my recent trip to London and North Wales resulted in my revising some locales in my current WIP. Nothing changes in the story, but visiting Conwy Castle, the crypts in St. Paul’s Cathedral, and Sharpenhoe hill fort has helped me refine some details.

For example, the first thing that hit me when entering St. Pauls’s was the thick smell of incense throughout the entire cathedral. That’s a nice detail to add to a scene where a character finds an underground temple, hidden beneath a cemetery. The crypts also had elaborate mosaics covering most of the floors, another detail I’ll add.

Do these improve the story? Well, not really, but visceral details like a distinct smell or the way the ceiling oil lamps blacken the vaulted arches can make a place come alive in a reader’s head.

You should always bring something back with you when you travel. Writers should bring back more.


Recent News

May, 24 2016

Please, hold the door!

I'm both stunned and slightly embarrassed by all the attention this week, but welcome new visitors! Make yourself at home.

My thoughts behind my 2008 joke/prediction/guess can be found on my Blog.

Thanks again for stopping by!

About the Author

While reading The Fellowship of the Ring at the age of twelve, Stuart A. Etter was told by his teacher that he should be reading shorter books. Undaunted, he finished the trilogy and promptly moved on to other novels ranging from fantasy/sci-fi to historical fiction to horror to thrillers.

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Prologue: Prisoner Bound

Damion rubbed the dull ache of age from his hands. Countless years wielding a sword had conditioned his tendons and muscles, but time had worn them down, replacing strength with chronic pain. Closing his eyes, Damion dreamed of his youth. Battle and victory marked most of his memories, but darker images tainted his successes, reminding him of his one...