Today Jennings Wright, author of Solomon's Throne, shares with us how her love for travel impacts her writing. Be sure to check out Jitterbug PR for a complete list of tour stops. Keep reading to the end of the post to enter to win your own copy of the book.
I have been blessed to have traveled extensively during my life, and I would probably be on the go at least part of each month if my husband liked to travel nearly as much as I do. I’ve been all over the world: Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Japan, South and Central America, and the Caribbean. At last count it was well over 40 countries.
So, when I wrote my first novel, Solomon’s Throne, and decided on an around-the-world treasure hunt, it was only natural that my travel bug would be brought in for a consult. Rei and Gideon Quinn, the main characters, live in London, a city that I love. They live and work in the Hyde Park area, which I’m quite familiar with. (In the sequel, The Hoard of the Doges, Rei gets an ridiculously indulgent death by chocolate waffle at a restaurant where my son and I discovered that same waffle -- delicious and worth every calorie!).
I travel twice a year to Uganda, and Africa holds a special place in my heart. Much of Solomon’s Throne is set there, along the Portuguese Spice Route, which spanned the southern and eastern coasts. I set one of our favorite places to stay in Uganda in Mozambique, and used my experiences of the sights, sounds, smells, people, clothing, food and especially the terrible roads to bring life to their journeys throughout the region.
The Quinns also make a pit-stop in Kampala, Uganda, and there’s a little bit of a story behind this small part of the novel. I wrote Solomon’s Throne for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, 2011, and, as I said, it was my first novel. My goal was to finish the first draft in a month, which I knew would be around 100,000 words (it ended up 88,659, but who’s counting?!), so my goal was to write at least 3000 words a day.
On the day I wrote their Uganda visit, I was mentally exhausted. I just wasn’t feeling it, but, with Thanksgiving approaching, I couldn’t take another day off. The day before, I’d left the Quinns and their pilot friend Mac in Zimbabwe, and their next destination was Oman or somewhere in that vicinity. The plane they were in was going to have to refuel somewhere along the way. Opening an online map and figuring out the plane’s range in kilometers, I realized that they could refuel and spend a night in Kamapala – it was almost exactly halfway!
That revelation turned the day around; I got to write them into some of my favorite places. They used the internet at a boutique hotel in an area of the city called Garden City, which is a fabulous little place that we often frequent for tea or live music or a wonderful meal. I introduced them to Ugandan people, had them stay in a Ugandan home, and drove them through the infamously horrible Kampala traffic. The words flew by, and what started out feeling like drudgery ended up being a really memorable day.
All of my books since then have included travel, history and interesting locations. I think traveling is one of the very best gifts you can give yourself and your family, and I hope that my passion for it comes off the page and perhaps imparts a little wanderlust to my readers.
About the Book:
An impenetrable safe is breached and a secret artifact is stolen. Containing information that could change the course of the world, its desperate owner sends Gideon Quinn, his head of security, and Gideon’s wife Rei, an art preservationist, to find it at any cost. What they discover is a clue to the lost throne of King Solomon, the real object of the theft. They are thrust out on an adventure that leads them halfway around the world. Following letters left by a Jesuit in 1681, they must weave through ancient sites along the Portuguese Spice Route, keeping ahead of a secret militant order that is determined to beat them to Solomon’s Throne.
Filled with fast paced action and having broad appeal, Solomon’s Throne is an ingenious treasure hunt adventure that sweeps the reader around the globe in a race against time.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Rockledge, Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn't spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.
Jennings attended the University of the South and the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of script doctoring, business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit to Uganda.
Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. She's written four novels and a screenplay in less than a year, with more ideas on the drawing board. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a writer, and two children, and travels extensively.
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