There is nothing better than being on vacation. But there is nothing more perfect than being on vacation at a place where Larkin’s Letters was inspired. The aesthetics, the sounds, the smells — these are just a few of the things that helped to bring Larkin’s Letters to life. It’s hard not to sit on the front balcony and pretend that I am not a part of the story. As I sit on the beach and watch a couple walking in the distance hand-in-hand, I like to think they are Ryan and Larkin taking one of their many walks along the New Jersey coastline. When I see a young man sitting alone fishing on his boat in the Great Egg Harbor Bay, I imagine he is Ryan reading one of Larkin’s letters while he waits for a fish to bite. And as I look up at the stars dancing in the night sky, the hopeless romantic in me can see Larkin’s blue eyes shining bright as she watches over the love of her life.
Just like films, my novels have a soundtrack. I need to listen to music as I write. Many of my chapters are set with a specific song as the backdrop and it is hard for me not to think of each song as I reread each chapter, and vice versa. But music isn’t my only soundtrack. As I sat out on my vacation beach house balcony tonight, I listened carefully to the sounds that my surroundings had to offer me. These sounds help me to bring my story’s setting to life. And just like I was inspired by this shore town’s soundtrack the first time around, I can only hope that it will guide me in the right direction as I continue this story.