Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hot August Nights are Great For Research by Sandra Leesmith

Please welcome today's guest blogger, Sandra Leesmith, to The Roses of Prose.

One thing about the month of August is it is a great month to travel on vacation. Traveling is a wonderful opportunity to do research for writing that next novel swirling around in my head.

In fact it was during a trip in Monument Valley, Arizona that I began writing novels. That summer, my university professor at Arizona State University assigned us to write a novel.  We were training for a program designed to improve student-writing skills and as teachers were told if we were going to teach writing—we better know writing. When we asked what we should write about the professor said, “Write what you know.”

So here I was in “color country” surrounded by Native American culture, history and ruins. It was a great opportunity to research my first novel. Writing that romantic suspense novel was so much fun, I proceeded to write several more and eventually became published. DREAM SONG was my first book written, but my third published.  (I had to do a lot of revising-chuckle) In fact I plan to republish that book since I have the rights back from Warner Publishers, but I have more revisions to make.  Writing styles have changed a lot  
since the nineties.

Other books I’ve written involved research while traveling as well.  My husband and I won a trip to New Orleans and while there we took a ten-day cruise up the Mississippi on a river steamboat. Being a writer, I just had to interview the crew.  And that is how I came up with the information for CURRENT OF LOVE. Readers tell me that they felt like they had been on the cruise after reading this light and sweet romance.

Every August in the early eighties, the Coors Classic bicycle race would pass by my mother’s house at Lake Tahoe. Watching the racers pedal past stirred my storytelling juices and PRICE OF VICTORY evolved.  My husband joined a bicycle club that raced so I could get in on all the pre-racing action. I met several women cyclists who helped me authenticate the facts in this fun and sweet romance.

My next traveling adventure will happen this October. I know it won’t include a hot August night, but Southern Spain can be like warm in October. I am going specifically to research the latest novel swirling around.  My characters are from Spain and are insisting I go there and see what their childhoods were like.  Can’t refuse an offer like that. 

So let me know what August vacations have inspired you to do and your name will be put in for a drawing to Amazon. I also write children’s books using my maiden name Sandy Wardman. You can choose one of those instead. Find the titles on 
win a signed copy of one of my novels. You can read about them on Amazon (link is:

Bio: Sandra Leesmith writes romance designed to warm the heart and make you smile. She has published with Harlequin, Warner, Avalon and currently with Montlake Romance of Amazon Publishing. Sandra loves to hike, read, bicycle and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two dogs, a Labrador retriever and a toy poodle. During the hot summers she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome where she enjoys
the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project. Her latest release: LOVE’S MIRACLES is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Visit Sandra on her website


Jannine Gallant said...

Sounds like some terrific settings! I have to admit I set most of my books in California because I live here and know it well. If you're back in Tahoe, contact me. It's always nice to meet a fellow author!

Margo Hoornstra said...

What a great opportunity to travel as you write. We just purchased a big travel trailer and I plan to do just that. Thanks for blazing a trail.

Barbara Edwards said...

Seeing so much of the world is why I love to travel. Thanks for sharing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Janine, Oh I would love to meet up with you. I have a manuscript set in Tahoe. Maybe we can get together.

I think California has some great settings and history.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Margo, You will love traveling and writing in your RV. My hubby points the window toward the lake or the beach or the mountain meadow and says "Okay honey, here is your lakeside office" or "here is your beach office" or hear is your mountain office." He is so supportive. I think he likes me writing so I don't write him a honey do list. chuckle

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Barbara, Traveling is fun. Most of my travels are North America in Canada, US and Mexico. I have traveled Central and South America also. Spain will be my first venture into Europe.

Where do you travel?

Sandra Leesmith said...

One thing about traveling, you are at the mercy of whatever Internet service is around. Sorry I was gone for a bit. Had Internet difficulties. sigh.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Anyone ever done Internet while traveling in Europe? I'm looking for advice. One friends said she uses her phone. I bought a Kindle Fire for that purpose, but am having doubts as it isn't that easy to use.

What do you folks use?

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Sandra,
We've cruised the Caribbean and up to Canada on the ST Lawrence. Mostly we RV the US. We've been to the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and plan to drive to Alaska next Spring.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Barbara, Are you going to Alaska in your RV? We did that twice. Gorgeous drive but the roads are ....what can I say..... interesting.

don't let that deter you though. You'll absolutely love the trip.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for inviting me to join you today. I hope you all find ways to stay cool on these hot August nights. smile

Myra Johnson said...

How fun to find story inspiration during your travels, Sandra! I especially enjoyed Cruising for Love--almost like being on a real river cruise! Hoping I get the chance to experience one someday.

Julie Lessman said...

LOVE your books, Sandra -- have read every single one, even the kid's books!!

Cannot WAIT for Dream Song!!


Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I think it's really cool how your travels have given you stories to write! I think you'll have a wonderful time in Spain!