by Alyssa J Montgomery
What seems to have been a lifetime ago, I took a break from my full-time position as a speech pathologist and became an international flight attendant with Qantas Airways. Ever since, I’ve had the travel bug!
So many wonderful memories are tucked away, but these days when I travel, I have a writer’s appreciation for the places I visit and always keep my pen and notebook handy. My brain goes into overdrive imagining different scenarios playing out in some of the places I visit.
During my stint as a flight attendant, Qantas flew to Athens twice a week and I used to have five days off every time we landed in Greece. I did a lot of travelling through the countryside. Basing Mistaken Identity in Greece was inspired by my love of the Greek islands and culture and also by my interest in Greek mythology
I’ve set stories in London and Barcelona, but my entire storyline of The Defiant Princess was inspired by my musings on a night I spent at a Bedouin camp. Gazing up at an endless galaxy of twinkling stars with the lingering scent of spicy food and the camp fire was bound to fire my imagination! Having ridden by camel across the dunes and into the desert camp that afternoon, I reflected on a rich culture so very different from my own. I’d been entertained by traditional dancers, held a bird of prey and my daughters and I had our hands painted with henna.
I conjured up a princess heroine and began to wonder… What if this desert land was my heroine’s native land—one she’d been born to rule—but she’d lived in Australia most of her life? What forces would have torn the princess from her birth land, how would that have impacted upon her emotionally and what would it take for her to return? How difficult would it be for her to make the necessary cultural adjustments? Most importantly, how would she find her true love and HEA when the circumstances surrounding her return meant her very life was in danger? How would she be drawn to her hero, even while some sort of conflict kept them apart?
I ‘interviewed’ my defiant princess and discovered her story. I especially adored being introduced to her prince.
Venice is one of my favourite places, and one I believe lends itself naturally to romance. I’d go back there in a heartbeat and will definitely revisit as I plot a contemporary romance. Stay tuned!
What is the country or city that most appeals to you as the setting for a romance novel? Have you ever found romance in a far-flung land? I’d love to hear your responses!
When faced with the choice between the life she’s built and the duty she’s left behind—what’s a reluctant princess to do?