One of my goals for the nearish future is to go to events that will help me to add more realism to my novels.
With this in mind, I am planning on attending the ASPCA Regionals (an event featured in my novel HORSING AROUND) this Saturday at the Oaks Blenheim in San Juan Capistrano. I attended a few years ago, but I want a refresher. My goal is to take notes about the courses and the tasks asked of the riders, both over fences and on the flat. When I attended this event in the past, it inspired me to write a novel about equitation, but because I didn’t know that I would be writing HA, I failed to take these notes. Thankfully, I have another chance.
I am also blessed enough to live an hour away from Culver City, where the Pacific Coast Sectionals will be held for Figure Skating in November. This year’s Sectionals will play a role in the sequel to ON THIN ICE, so it will be wonderful to have the chance to go and see what they are really like. I had that experience with the 2009 Worlds in Los Angeles, but it would be nice to see life on the lower end of the qualifying tree. You know, those competitions that we don’t see on television. These lower end and less glamorous local, regional, and sectional competitions shape the future of the sport, because the results (at least at Sectionals) decide who goes on to Nationals. Who knows, maybe I will get to see the next big thing working his/her/their way up the ladder.
Hopefully, going to these events will help me give readers that feeling of “being there” right in the action. There are so many great YA novels right now where the setting itself almost becomes a character in the novel. For example, the talented Jessica Verday (THE HOLLOW, THE HAUNTED) makes the town of Sleepy Hollow, Massachusetts come alive for her readers in a magical way. If you haven’t read these wonderful books, I suggest that you do, especially if you are unsure how to bring a setting into your novel…or if you just want to feel like you are somewhere else for a few hours.