They say an author reveals more about her or himself in what they write than they might realise. I have to say that I find this true of myself. For example, it surprises me how often my love of water and swimming seems to sneak into my stories. I’m not doing this on purpose—it just happens!
|Curl Curl beach in Sydney on a flat surf day|
My first three books for Harlequin Romance are set in the fictional beachside town of Dolphin Bay (to be published together as an anthology Heart of the Bay by Harlequin Australia on December 12 in Australia and New Zealand.) Beaches and swimming pools, Sydney Harbour, the Yarra River, a fountain and even a bathtub have been significant in other stories, too, whether set in Australia, Indonesia, Greece or a fictional European principality. That the hero and heroine are usually not wearing much in the way of clothing while they’re in the water or on the beach adds to the sensuality of the story too!
|North Sydney Pool, a favourite place to swim laps|
I’m not long back from enjoying a fabulous swimming holiday in Crete—my second with a company specialising in Greek open water swimming holidays. It’s an organised tour where you swim with a fully supervised group, divided into smaller ability groups, in the most glorious blue seas. The swim averages five kilometres a day, divided into two swims before and after lunches in Greek tavernas reached only by sea. (The group is The Big BlueSwim if anyone is interested.)
|The beautiful blue waters of Crete|
People tend to react with shock when they hear this as I tend to be a somewhat indolent person, happy to loll about reading at any opportunity. Then they wonder if I’m a fantastic swimmer. I’m not. But I’m competent, can stay in the water a long time and am not frightened of deep water. On both the swims I’ve been in the slowest of the groups and very happy with that.
I swam with other swimmers from the US and Israel but mostly British folk where the swim holiday seems to be very popular. Why would an Australian want to swim in Greece they ask? No sharks or other scary creatures is one reply—another is that swimming in such a history soaked country as Greece is something special. I can’t wait to go again!
|I couldn't stay out of this hotel pool on the Gold Coast, Queensland|
But in the meantime the weather is heating up Down Under and there is no shortage of wonderful places to swim here at home.
How about you? Do you like swimming? Or have another favourite summer activity? Or winter activities? I’d love to hear your comments!
WOW I do love seeing your photos from your swims in Crete you see that is a place that I would dearly love to visit and yes I love being in the water although I am not a strong swimmer I can hols my own and love getting in a pool or the sea sadly it doesn't happen as much as I would like :)
These days I usually take a walk around the local park everyday that helps keep me moving
Crete really is wonderful, Helen, not just the swimming so I hope you get there one day. It took me many years to finally get to Greece!Delete
I like walking too, early in the morning in summer!
Wow Kandy, this all sounds amazing. I had no idea such holidays existed. An action holiday is just my sort of thing, except perhaps not in the water. I just don't like getting wet. Weird I know for an Aussie who lives by the beach.ReplyDelete
I do love going skiing. And, I love a good bush walk at any time of year (although winter means a lot less snakes).
Jen, I didn't know about swimming trips either until fellow Aussie author C.C. Coburn introduced me to them. Now I'm hooked!Delete
Doing something active on holiday does seem to add to it doesn't it. I used to ski (badly) and the swimming holiday is rather the same thing only you get up early to get on to the boat rather than to get to the chairlifts. I hear you on the walking and the snakes!
Well Kandy, I'm super jealous of your trip to Crete- it looks amazing!! I do love that place! I'm not a confident swimmer (more of a lounger!) and being in the water depends on how warm it is! Although I am getting braver and doing more snorkelling these days!ReplyDelete
Fave summer activity has to be hiking/walking/tramping. Fave winter activity- reading by the fire!!!
Crete was amazing Louisa, I hope I get back there before too many years elapse! I like walking too. And I'm totally with you on your choice of favourite winter activity!Delete
I love your picture of Curl Curl Beach, Kandy! It'd be the perfect place to be on a scorcher like today. :-) As for Crete, your swimming holidays sounds amazing. I love nipping down to the beach in summertime for a quick (or not-so-quick) dip. In fact, being by the ocean at any time of the year suits me. :-)ReplyDelete
Michelle, I love the beach at any time of the year too. Walking along a beach in winter is one of my favourite places to be. They say there is something about the rhythm of the waves that connects with the human heartbeat - who knows!ReplyDelete
I have to do the Bg Blue Swim, Kandy! You've inspired me. Normally I wouldn't be caught dead swimming in the open ocean - hjello sharks!! - but this is the Med and that's an entitey different kettle of fish! I'm a strong swimmer but not very fast....how long did it take your slow group to do the 2.5k each time? And do you "train" for it before you go?ReplyDelete
Runs off to add to bucket list.....
Since acquiring my treadmill desk last month I'm walking 8km most days. The least I do is 4k, some days its 6k but the majority of days its been the full 8k. I absolutely recommend it. I spend 2 hours on social media every day anyway - I might as well be walking!
Side note - last comment written on the treadmill desk, hence the typos and not spell checking properly....Delete
Amy, I'm a slow swimmer too. You can wear flippers on these swims if you want to (most don't, I do, and you have to do your test to see what group you go into without any aid!) From memory a 2.5 km swim took us about one and a half hours. You stop every twenty five minutes for water or juice from the guide boat that closely follow you. During that time you're also likely to swim in and out of caves or through rock formations which adds to the interest. You are meant to train, and in fact Big Blue provides you with a training schedule you build up to over six weeks. Of course the trouble with us being in the southern hemisphere I don't swim as much as I do in the summer! It's an effort to swim in indoor pools in the winter whereas I swim a lot in summer. This winter I had some weekly stroke correction classes (freestyle) which I felt helped. I was still slow though but kept up with our lovely, lovely "yellow swimming caps" group. I highly recommend Big Blue. Now I must look into a treadmill desk - I reckon I put on a couple of kilos each book!Delete
Kandy, those long swims of yours sound wonderful. A great way to see Greece, have some fun and meet nice people.ReplyDelete
I used to be a swimmer but not so much now partly due to a back injury. I know swimming is supposed to be good for bad backs but in my case it exacerbates it. That doesn't mean I can't loll in the water though and enjoy a lovely beach. In fact like you, I often have water in my story settings. It's just so lovely!
Annie, I'm sorry your back injury precludes you from swimming. What a shame! But, as you said, it doesn't stop you from enjoying being in the water and at the beach. Now you point it out, I realise you do have water in lots of your stories.Delete