Some authors browse the web or magazines to gather images of the characters for their novels. Pictures of movies stars like Matthew McConaughey or Gerard Butler cover their storyboard and help them to describe their hero or perhaps a villain. Me? I search for images of beautiful and adventurous landscapes.The below images are what I had in mind as I wrote each of the four novellas for Oregon Outback, though perhaps they stayed in the background or the distance. I don’t want to give too much away.
Each of my four novellas is set in a different part of Oregon’s high desert with its own unique geography. Some things I’ve highlighted are real and others are fiction. That’s the fun about writing novels—you can mix and match the real world with your fictional setting.(Another post to come on that.)
|Crack in the Ground. Public Domain.|
A Love Remembered: Crack in the Ground is a two mile long volcanic fissure near Four Craters Lava Field in the Deschutes National Forest. The crack plays a significant role in the story.Tourists can explore this fissure, which isn’t all that old. Scientist say the ground shifted creating this crack only a thousand years ago. For my characters, it affects their past and future.
|Hart Mountain. Public Domain.|
A Love Kindled: Warner Valley and Hart Mountain serve as a background. Much of the rough terrain my characters travel aren’t pictured here, and while it’s not what I typically do, I can certainly picture Gerard Butler playing the role of my cattle rancher chasing after rustlers in this story. Who would have thought we’d still have cattle rustlers in this day and age?
|Christmas Valley Sand Dunes. Public Domain.|
A Love Risked: The Christmas Valley Sand Dunes cover over a 11,000 acres. For my story, I’ve created a fictional county and fictional towns, but the dunes are real, and great fun for recreational ATV use during the summer months. They’re the perfect setting for my adrenaline junkie character, Lucas Love. Between all four heroes in my novellas, I can’t decide which one I love best. My critique partners and editor have their favorites, but it’s still a tough call. I can’t wait to hear what you think!
|GeartHart Mountain Wilderness. Public Domain|
A Love Recovered: Gearhart Mountain Wilderness is part of the Freemont National Forest. Technically, this forest isn’t part of Oregon’s high desert and sits on the western edge of the “outback.” During the course of the novellas, my characters have traveled to the extreme eastern edge of the high desert to Steens Mountain, and I decided to push the boundaries with this last story. A Love Recovered is set just below Winter’s Ridge, part of Lake County, and in the case of this story, a fictional county I’ve named Rimrock County.
I enjoyed writing this blog post today and revisiting some of the places I explored in depth to create Oregon Outback. I hope you’ll join me for more over the next several weeks.