“Pursuit of the Golden Lily” is a new novel by R. Emery, inspired by her father's WWII POW diary. Initially documenting the author's journey to return the diary to Thailand where it was written, the Blog now follows her experiences as she self-publishes, launches the novel and reflects on topics woven into the narrative.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Traveling the world, through the lens of fiction.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing Pursuit of the Golden Lily
 was scouting out the places featured in the book. The greatest compliment I have received so far, from people who have visited those locations, is that my descriptions were spot on. The marvel for a writer, living in today's 'connected' world, is the luxury of being able to visit locations virtually. Thanks to Google Earth, I was able to describe the minutest of details with an authenticity that allowed me to embellish and enhance my story. My goal in doing so, of course, was to try and give the reader a visceral experience of the protagonist's journey as she meandered through Thailand and Malaysia; an experience that would immerse him or her into the texture of that country. Something that is easier to achieve, perhaps, if one has actually visited the place - but I had not.
Before I'd even set foot in the Temple of the Golden Dragon....
I knew that the entrance had red steps, white walls and an ancient legend depicted through a series of murals...
The legend of Nang Bua Klee... which fit perfectly into my story!
Information about temples and legends came mostly from tourist websites and a few Travel Blogs, but the nitty gritty details of where a boat could be moored in Bang Lang National Park... 
Where the jungle is thick, growing down to the water's edge...
Well, that's where Google came in. I was able to zoom in on the tiniest of beaches nestled in the thick forests of 1998. So, if you're writing a novel set in an exotic location that you have yet to visit, take heart and board your satellite magic carpet now!
I will say, having gone on to visit all the locations featured in my book, that for me, there is nothing like the real thing... so if you're on the fence about taking that trip - my two cents - go ahead and book your ticket. Thailand and Malaysia are awesome places to visit.
And as I begin the task of writing my next novel... you can be sure, I'm dreaming up some exotic locations!

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