I have the pleasure of a guest post by author D.J. Davis, who shares insight into one of her hobbies...
ELF: What is one of your hobbies and how has it enriched your writing?
DJD: Thank you for having me. My favorite hobby is wildlife and landscape photography. I live in the mountains of Colorado, so whether I’m stepping out my front door or backpacking to a remote location, I find plenty for the lens and my writing.
Photography allows me to bring home images of a cabin that I might wish to use as the setting for a romantic scene. My photos remind me of how the moonlight flowed across a pine plank floor or the way sparks swirled and danced in a stone fireplace. Slow the shutter speed down to capture the firelight flickering in wine glasses and its yellow glow on a thick blanket in front of the flames. How romantic is that?
Step outside now for some shots of the cabin from various angles and distances. That thick copse of spruce by the bedroom window would make a dandy place for someone to hide and spy. Or the ledge of rocks over there? A man perched there, out of sight, could see anyone leaving the cabin. The front door is well within rifle range—how convenient.
Let’s take a walk. There are tracks here. Not just any tracks: bear tracks. Take a couple shots of them and the story ideas begin to form. Was the bear hungry? Probably. Rabid? Maybe. Can he outrun a man? Absolutely.
Here’s a good place to stop with the camera. A wildflower meadow, buzzing with bees at the height of summer. A drop of dew in a blossom might be a fairy’s cup. The fluttering butterfly could be her in disguise, her gossamer wings capable of much greater heights when we aren’t looking. Or the deer browsing at the meadow’s edge might be her steed.
Several miles up this steep trail there’s a lake. Few people want to make that arduous climb. It’s a great place to fish and find some solitude. Notice how the light bounces off the reflections of mountains in the water. Very nice for landscape photos. Beneath the silver shimmer the lake looks deep and cold. The images we’ll take home lead to the what if questions that are the beginning of most stories. What if a fisherman fell and broke a leg here, miles from anything and no cell phone service? What if a killer decides this lake is a great place to dump his victims? What if, what if, what if? The possibilities are limited only by our imaginations.
Photography allows me to capture not only the physical details of a location, but also the feel of the place. When I look at the images, often months or years later, ideas begin to swirl like sparks in the fireplace or bubbles in that cold water.
I took this autumn photograph a couple years ago. The cabin was quaint, cozy and off the beaten path. Seeing it now brings back good memories of a fine day spent sightseeing with my husband. It also conjures up some ideas. It could be a retreat for a two married (but not to each other) people. Maybe it’s a hideout for cattle thieves with a posse hot on their trail. What if a man strolling along the bank of that pretty stream finds a woman’s purse in the water?
What story ideas does this picture bring to your mind? I’d love to hear them.
by D.J. Davis
GENRE: Paranormal romantic suspense
BLURB: Loner and history buff Troy Hart gets more than he bargained for when his psychic connection to the past leads him to the mountains of Colorado. The legend of buried treasure is nothing new, but falling in love is—and that’s the last thing Troy wants.
Troy’s visions of the old west are all fun and games, until the ghost of an outlaw forces Troy to fulfill his dying wish. To save his own life, and the life of the woman he loves, Troy must follow the trail of greed, betrayal and revenge on a treasure hunt for lost Civil War gold.
Now the fun is over and the game is survival as Troy battles the elements, a dead man, and his own heart deep in the remote high country.
“Troy, what is it?”
“Palms itch. It’s calling me.”
She took his hand and turned it over, running her fingers across his palm. She didn’t feel or see anything unusual. His skin was callused from the work he did, but that was all. “Is there a vision in it?”
“Oh, yeah. Here we go,” he said and reached for the painting.
Summer grabbed his wrist. His talk of touching things and having visions suddenly became real. “Don’t. What if it’s like before? When you said you couldn’t control it?” She had no idea what that meant, but she didn’t like it.
“You’re here. Annie’s right over there. Medical clinic down the street. Don’t worry.”
Medical clinic and don’t worry—now she was worried. The painting was reflected in his eyes, turning his smoky irises into the greens of a meadow. The way his gaze was glued to it worried her even more. “Troy…”
“It’s okay, Summer. This is what I do. Been doing it since I was six.” He tented his fingers over the miniature cabin. Summer didn’t know what to expect but it wasn’t this. No fireworks, no sparks, no weird electric currents zapping around the room. At first there was no sign that Troy was having a vision, or psychotic episode, or a stroke. He looked like a man in deep concentration. Until he crashed to the floor, cradled his head as if he was trying to hold it together, and started yelling. “No! Not her! Oh God! Not her!”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
DJ Davis is a Colorado native and the rugged high country sets the scene for her stories. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking with her dogs, photographing the wildlife, or camping with her husband. A Great Dane runs her life.
A portion of each sale of her novel Courageous Cain will be donated to Big Bones Canine Rescue in Windsor, Colorado. Help us help big dogs in need.
Amazon author page
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The tour dates can be found here