Dance With Me. The story was partly inspired by a trip I did a couple of years ago, travelling through Mexico and down into Guatemala. I took that trip because I had a business trip to San Francisco, and I figured why not take the opportunity to travel somewhere new and exciting whilst I was over on that side of the world?
The trip around Mexico and Guatemala was one of those "no frills, get to know the locals, stay in villages and backpackers, eat at the local markets" kind of tours. (I took a tour because I was travelling alone and figured it was safest, especially considering both countries can be kind of dangerous for tourists.) I talked about it last month on LoveCats, particularly some of the interesting food options I enjoyed! Generally speaking I prefer a more five-star style of travel, so while I enjoyed the experience I can't say I wasn't pleased when it was time to move on.
The universe decided to grant my wish, and for the next few years I had business reasons to go to San Francisco at least once a year. I got to know it pretty well -- its hilly streets, hidden bars, and friendly people. A friend and I even did the famous Pacific Coast Highway drive from Los Angeles to San Fran -- in a convertible, of course!
In Dance With Me, Polly ends up finding herself a with a new life, and all kinds of new opportunities in San Francisco by the end of the book. And, in a very strange twist, I'm about to do the same.
In January I'm moving to live in San Francisco. I've taken up a new day job, and I'm excited about it and about the chance for me to experience new places, people and adventures -- that will all no doubt end up being book fodder one of these days!
It does feel a little weird to have written Dance With Me and Polly's journey and then to be walking in very similar footsteps. Maybe I need to write a story about a girl who encounters a genie who grants unending wishes (and is super-dooper handsome to boot!). Can we see if that one might come to life too?
There are a few more details about my move over on my blog. But in the meantime I'm going to stay in touch with all you Lovecatters and if/when you read my next book and discover it's set in San Francisco, you'll be able to go, "A-ha! I know why that is!"