Anyway, according to her bio on the Samhain site, Viv's "hiked, biked, canoed, kayaked and camped throughout Canada, seven European countries and twelve states, including Hawaii and Alaska. All these adventures have now become settings for her overactive muse to wander through. "
And you'll be able to tell from her post, that her bio's no exaggeration ... So please help me welcome Vivian Arend.
If a picture is worth a thousand words…this is a long post.
I’ve got gypsy blood. From the time I was young, I remember traveling to new places as a regular occurrence with my family. Sometimes it was to the nearby Rocky Mountains outside of Calgary, Alberta. Occasionally to more exotic locations like Hawaii, Arizona or Vulcan. (Yes, Virginia, there really is a Vulcan.)
Now that I’ve begun to write, the memories of the beauty and majesty of what I’ve witnessed open doors to wonderful settings for my stories, and inspire scenes to leap onto the page. It’s not only the locations—how can you visit Michelangelo’s David in Florence and not feel awestruck?
The world is an amazing place. At times I feel like I’ve experienced such a small portion and I have the urge to pack everything up and wander for more—more of these:
Yes- my daughter is pointing to where we hiked up to. The other pictures are taken from the top toward the south and the Tombstone Range.
Kenai Penusula, Alaska
Canyonlands National Park- Utah
What does this have to do with inspiration? My family visited Granite Lake, Kluane National Park, in the Yukon, in February of 2006. My first book—inspired by the location—released in March, three years later.
She looked around her and drew a long, slow breath, crisp air chilling the back of her throat. Not a cloud in the sky to block the blue. The mountains around her tall and snow covered. Beautiful and overpowering at the same time. The lake spread out before her, its large bay at her feet and the longer length of it stretching snakelike to the south to disappear around the bend of the mountain. A sense of home spread throughout her body.
Turning in a circle she noticed the cabin facing the lake had been fixed up since the last time she’d been out. Someone had repaired the front-porch supports and added a series of hooks along the north wall. Snow shovels and axes that had been buried under a good four feet of snow last February hung in plain sight, easy to access.--Wolf Signs
When I decided to write a watershifter story I went looking through my pictures. Small towns on the water? Check:
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia
How about “Beautiful Ocean Sunsets?
Broken Islands, Pacific Coast BC
Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
Then I needed some ‘beach-like’ sensations.
All Broken Island Group- off the coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino.
Then I started on the toughest part. I looked for mermen, mermaids, sexy wet muscular men with tattoos...hey, if I’m going to do research, I’m going to be thorough. I wondered if my shifters could not only change into dolphins but also St Elmo’s fire? I hadn’t managed to take any pictures of merfolk in my travels –yet---but we have the solution. Google!
And Google blessed me with this:
The first scene of the story came quickly as I was thrown into the world of Jaffrey’s Cove and the merfolk that live there:
Alexia opened her eyes to find she lay on fluffy cushions set on a thick mat of sea grasses, the rough roof of a cave overhead. A few feet away down a sandy shore there was ocean water, the surface smooth and unbroken, the storm’s madness calmed by the shelter of the cave. Darting moonlight sparkled through the entrance, dancing lights changing the hanging stalactites from fearful objects to ones of beauty and peace. She tasted salt on her lips, the scent of something ripe and wonderful filled her nostrils, and she turned to follow it.Inspiration? It’s all around us. In the hugs of our children, in the sounds of laughter exploding from the people sitting across from us. It’s hidden in the smiles and the eyes of people everywhere.
The back of the cave was a solid rock platform. A low wooden trunk was set like a table with a bowl of fruit and a flickering candle. Suddenly ravenous, Alexia picked a ripe strawberry from the offering and bit down, its flavor exploding in her mouth. She sat amidst the cushions and ate. Slowly, deliberately, each sensation peaking higher and higher on her taste buds. She watched the water lap at the shore.
It must be a dream. She’d seen this place so many times since she’d started to come to the coast. Ever since she’d fallen in love with the ocean, she’d had dreams involving this cave. Dreams of dolphins and blue lights and endless need that had her waking dazed, restless and aroused.
The cave filled with the brilliant blue glow she’d seen around the medallion earlier.
It swirled past the entrance and poured like liquid silver through the air, flowing throughout the cavern. It touched her in passing and paused, frozen in midair like a bit of the Milky Way torn from the sky and tossed into the small cave.
The light brushed her feet, swirled around her ankles and twisted its way up her legs.
Touching, caressing. A tingling sensation moved with the light as it floated over her skin, and Alexia froze as her body was momentarily enveloped before the light shot to the far back corner and bounced down to form into the solid body of a man.
His skin was smooth. Blond hair fell to his broad shoulders, muscles well defined in his arms and torso. Brilliant green eyes smiled at her and her heart leapt.
Whew *fans self* That's some inspiration to leave us with, Viv. If paranormals aren't your style, Viv also has a really HOT cowboy/western, Rocky Mountain Heat, coming out with Liquid Silver Books in September and in October Samhain's releasing Wolf Flight, the sequel to Wolf Signs. (Viv's one VERY busy author right now.)
If you want to know more about Viv, you can find her either on her website or her blog. Oh, and Viv's giving away an e-copy of winner's choice of her books, including Tidal Wave which releases tomorrow!