Tomorrow, my birthday wish will come true, thanks to my husband.
When he asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I wanted to stay at the Sandaway Suites & Beach in the quaint, Eastern Shore town of Oxford, Maryland. It just so happens that it’s the real-life inn that inspired my third novel, Inn Significant.
The original plan for that novel was to have it set in Annapolis, just as my first book was set there (that one’s called Beneath the Mimosa Tree). I headed to Annapolis with my camera in hand, and began to stroll all the side streets in search of that place that would be the inspiration for my story. While I write fiction, I base most of what I write on real people and places and circumstances and things. When I couldn’t quite place where the inn would be in Annapolis, and having just written about that city in my first book, I decided to take a trip to Oxford and perhaps set the novel elsewhere.
I called on my trusty partner-in-crime, my mother, to come with me.You guessed right. I fell in LOVE with Oxford. As soon as I saw The Sandaway, I knew it was the perfect inspirational setting for my character, Milly, to recover from the devastating loss of her husband. And that was that.
The folks at The Sandaway were super sweet and let me come onto the grounds where I took tons of inspirational photos. Those photos were used countless times to inspire my writing–to help me picture where Milly and John and Miles would all be having their conversations, living day-to-day, or attending celebrations and activities on the massive lawn that overlooks the Tred Avon River.
And now, this weekend, I get to go as a guest. I’ll be staying in one of the rooms, and I’ll experience Oxford as my characters did.
I cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to the experience, and I’m hoping it inspires me to complete the sequel, which I’m about 1/3 of the way into at present.