How I found the perfect setting for my first romantic suspense/mystery
I carried the plot for Clues to Love around with me for a couple of years, wanting the setting to be the best I could find. Finally I happened on the ad for a small Lake District hotel in England Today, an English publication that praises England past and present complete with lots of photographs.
The place sounded too good to be true and as the magazine was a "hand-me-down" from British friends, I wrote to the enclosed address asking if the hotel still existed.
It did and my husband and I made reservations and that autumn stayed in the hotel which was as beautiful as its ad promised.
As soon as we entered the "English gentleman's country house hotel," I knew I had found the perfect setting for Clues to Love. The owners were charming people who made us feel right at home. If they thought my request to "borrow" their hotel was strange, they didn't show it.
Later back at home in Texas when I was trying to decide on a book cover, I found a color postcard the hotel owners had given me. It would make a great cover, I thought.
Writing to the owners, I hesitantly asked if it would be possible for me to use their postcard view of Lindeth Fell Country House Hotel for my book cover. I offered to mention their names/hotel name and address and their web site in the back of the book. They agreed.
So I not only found the perfect setting but also the perfect cover.
It may never happen again but it did for Clues to Love.
All I can say to other authors is to hold out for the best possible setting for your story. And don't be afraid to ask for a favor.