Vacations aren’t just an annual (except for 2020) ritual for me, they’re a passion. Travel has opened up a world of learning and adventure I hadn’t known existed. It has given me the opportunity to see the world, to experience new cultures, and I almost always discover a new story to write. I have to confess, once bitten by the travel bug I’ve been obsessed with absorbing all the knowledge I can. I’ve visited thirty-seven states and over forty countries on trips or through volunteer work. So, when asked what’s the best vacation I’ve ever had, it’s tough to narrow down. One trip may have held the best scenery, another might have been the most exotic or adventurous, and an unsuspecting destination might have offered the tastiest food, the friendliest people, or the most rewarding cultural exchange.
As I file through all the wonderful memories of the places I’ve experienced, Thailand often floats to the top of the pack. I felt further outside my comfort zone than I had in any other place I’ve ever been and that’s a good thing. Elephants sharing the chaotic streets of Bangkok with tuk-tuks and cars against the back drop of ornate gilded temples created images in my mind that will last a lifetime. The scenery and wildlife in the National Park my husband and I visited along the Thailand-Cambodian border was simply amazing, and the people were warm and welcoming. I learned so much about the history and culture of the country that I never could have discovered any other way.
Several decades later, the aromas wafting out of a Thai restaurant still take me back to one of the most exciting adventures of my life. Maybe that’s why Thailand has never shown up as a setting in one of my adventure suspense novels. The memories are powerful, they are mine, and they are too special to share with any of my fictional characters. As for my latest project, The Risky Research Series, I’ve stayed closer to home for the most part. I have relied on real life experiences for a number of scenes, especially those set in Wyoming. However, in my newest novel, A Measure of Madness, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to take the reader to South America. This novel is scheduled for release on April 9, 2021.