Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Escape to the Tropics

Tropical adventures are one of my passions. They have been for a long time. That's why I love to vacation in the Caribbean, and that's why I set many of my books there.

Our first tropical escape took us to the island of Jamaica. I was entranced by the exotic beauty of this lush Caribbean destination and have returned there many times since then.

On an early trip to Jamaica, we visited Negril and stayed at Sandals before so many resorts filled the glorious seven-mile beach. We strolled barefoot in the almost deserted silver sand and watched goats climb the trees as Grand Lido (recently rebranded as Breezes Grand Negril) was under construction there.

We climbed Dunn's River Falls before so many vendors clamored for attention along the way. Of course, I fell in love with the scenery and took dozens of 35mm slides that I later developed into large (several were four by six feet canvases) paintings. They were part of my "Tropical Fantasies" painting series.

Rose Hall Great House was another tourist location I visited during our first trip to Jamaica. The story of  Annie Palmer, the white witch, beguiled me. I learned about her ties to Obeah from several of the Jamaicans I met. When I returned home I researched Rose Hall, Obeah, and Obeah in Haiti. They later became the background for my first novel, Hearts Across Forever.

People have scolded me for going to Jamaica. "What about the poverty?" some of them ask.

Much poverty did and does exist, but there is such richness in the location. Even the poor have the beauty of the island surrounding them. The Jamaican people rely on the tourist industry for jobs, so they welcome their visitors even as many of them strive to leave the rich island of their birth.

The beauty of Jamaica still haunts me as do the memories. In the future, I will write of that destination again. And, of course, I look forward to other tropical adventures and future escapes.


Nancy Lennea said...

I am jealous! I haven't stepped on a tropical island in about 40 years. Current sights are set on Scotland.Good luck with you blog and Red Rose.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

This looks good, Monti. I bet you're learning stuff I don't know. Please share.


Kissa Starling said...

Great post, makes me want to visit. I want to hear more about that white witch! I love old legends and folklore.

BillieJohn said...

Monti..this is great...and I must share that HEARTS ACROSS FOREVER is a perennial favorite, still available on Amazon and our own websites.

But, have you ever been to Costa Rica? I am looking at a mystery set there right now, and it occurred to me that if I had both a mystery and a romantic suspense set in the same place at the same time...that might be fun and interesting to readers!

Gotta have some fun with things, right?

Olen said...

Thanks, Nancy! I've never been to Scotland.

Marilyn, I don't think it's possible to learn all this blogging in one class. Folks must have to take it several times to get it all in place. Dani is amazing!

Kissa, please take a look at Hearts Across Forever on Amazon.
It's available there as a Kindle or e-book as well. Hearts uses a lot of the white witch legend in the plot.

Thanks for reading my blog,

Marian Allen said...

I love tropical adventure stories! When I was young, one of my favorite books was South Sea Adventure. And The Beachcomber was my favorite tv show--I wanted to be a beachcomber when I grew up, until I found out about writing.

Marian Allen

Monti said...

Beachcomber sounds likes a fun occupation for the tropics and good research for a writer!

Thanks for the comment, Marian.


Monti said...

Testing a signature...