People often ask me where I get my ideas for my fantasy romance stories. One easy answer is Portland itself- from the dense inner city, to the reaches of Mt Hood National Forest. I have only to go for a walk at Oaks Bottom wildlife refuge to find the bucolic, otherworldly natural environment that perhaps …maybe…a dragon might be hiding in. Or fairies!
The Willamette river, nestled between the east and west banks of the city, tumbles with enticing secrets if one only listens. Portland’s many bridges shine as portals to romance story ideas. I imagine roaring dragons on top of the Fremont Bridge, or winging in for a landing on the St. John’s, or hiding under the old Hawthorne bridge.
Show me a bridge encased in fog, its spires sticking out of the gray like candles on a birthday cake – and I’ll be dancing with ideas for a romantic scene between shape-shifting peregrines. Or fairies who have lost their way home.
The century-old brick buildings downtown surely must have hosted a vampire or two in their dank basement depths. Perhaps in the Shanghai tunnels below that the city is infamous for, you’ll find evidence of when the alt-human crowd ruled downtown, and helped themselves to the ready necks of drunken bar patrons.
My writer’s muse is prompted to life over and over again by the pounding gray of Portland’s winters and then the breath-catching beauty of its spring. It’s as if the hunt for otherworldly creatures is in my DNA, unable to resist the delicious, fantasy images coming to mind as I travel through unsuspecting Portland.
Fantasy romance is all around us, everywhere. One has only to look…and imagine.