Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Governor Hotel

Dracula's Secret is set in Portland, Oregon and part of the plot happens in the Governor Hotel. I chose the Governor due to its reputation as one of the premier luxury hotels, especially known for excellent service and rooms.

This week, I decided it was time to override my general, vague descriptions with some actual first hand observation.

I made an appointment with the amazingly gracious and well-informed Jason Staats, Event Coordinator/Chief Concierge for the Governor. Jason took me on a personally guided tour of the hotel!

Here is Jason, showing me one of their Superior guest rooms, complete with very cool built-ins and a king sized bed. One of things I found wonderful about this location was their high quality fabrics and finishes. I'm a bit of a texture fiend, and every surface I touched pleased my fingertips.

Jason amazed me with the diversity of the hotel, which include rooms with sitting areas, parlors, beautiful retro-inspired bathrooms, and amazing service.

For me, seeing the hotel through the eyes of my antagonist (who is staying at the Governor for a tension-fraught conference) showed me even more of his personality. This character loves being surrounded by elegant furnishings and enjoys luxurious service. I even found the room that he would be staying in- namely one of their utterly decadent Penthouse Terrace Suites with a private terrace and magnificent views of Portland.

I knew when I saw that room that my character, the heroine's brother, would want to stay there. The commanding vista of the city and mountains would appeal to his love of control and exclusivity.

Many thanks to Jason and The Governor for helping me discover more about my characters and for the wonderful tour. I can't wait to share this amazing locale with my readers. :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More first hand research.

So I finally got to experience firing rifles; everything from a .22 to some sort of unusual Romanian sniper's rifle. My gun friends were very generous in sharing their knowledge and firearms with me, letting me ask endless questions and even filling the magazines for me.

But then it rained, and my notes are completely useless.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

TMI alert!

One of the ways I try to keep my love scenes fresh and exciting is to keep a notebook of sexual fantasies and thoughts. Not just my own, but also ideas and experiences my friends share with me, or random ideas from the various media in my life.

I try not to judge or censor any of these, no matter how exotic or fantastical they may be. So I've got jottings about everything from tender heterosexual lovemaking by candlelight to tentacle sex to sex in outer space to.... Well, you get the idea. :)

Once people sense that you won't judge them for sexual thoughts, they can be remarkably forthcoming with ideas. Recently my husband and I struck up a general conversation with a gentleman in a restaurant's lounge . Once he found out I wrote romance, he suggested that the necklace our bartender wore would make a handy cock ring in a story.

Of course I wrote it down! I'm sure I'll use it somewhere.

So if you see me reaching for my purse during a conversation, keep talking!