Fantasy islands

Tropical island. White sands. Palm trees. Warm, aquamarine waters. Just the stuff of romantic fantasy—and the fictional setting for my new romance THE CASTAWAY BRIDE.

If only it were real…

Samsao Island in the Angthong National Marine Park

I had to keep pinching myself when, just days after THE CASTAWAY BRIDE was published on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, I found myself on a beautiful tropical island—just like my fictional characters Matt Slade and Cristy Walters. And so much of what I experienced echoed scenes in my book.

Na Muang I Waterfall, what an idyllic place to swim

Beautiful beaches? Tick.

Swimming under a waterfall? Tick.

Exotic fruits to feast on? Tick.

Dragonfruit (right) is almost too pretty to eat

Thanks to Procter & Gamble and Ambi Pur air care, I was on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand on a media familiarization tour in the form of a “sensory journey”. (Gotta love my “day job” as a magazine editor!)

Early morning at beautiful The Scent Hotel, Bangrak Beach, Koh Samui.

There were, however, some major differences between fictional fantasy and media trip reality. No gorgeous, bare-chested hero like my fictional Matt Slade for one thing! (Though I was in great company with the most delightful group of journalists and media people.) And I got to stay in a beautiful hotel—unlike my heroine Cristy Walters, who has to bunk down in a ramshackle survival hut with scratchy sheets and no bathroom. (Sharing it with hot hunk Matt does somewhat take the edge off her discomfort!) Oh, and I didn’t have to get shipwrecked like Cristy and Matt to appreciate my scent-alicious sojourn. It was work, but work of the most enjoyable kind!

Bliss!

The trip was amazing—and over only too soon. But isn’t that the great thing about fiction? If I want to escape again to a romantic destination, I only have to flick through the pages of a book to transport myself anywhere in the world. And, as a writer, I get to create my own fantasy destinations with everything that appeals to me  all in one place!

My trip to Koh Samui, while bringing to life some of locations in THE CASTAWAY BRIDE, also fueled my imagination with scenarios for future stories. My lucky characters have lots of treats in store for them!

(If you get the chance to go to Koh Samui, I highly recommend The Scent Hotel. It was one of the loveliest small hotels I have ever stayed. I would SO love to go back one day with my husband!)

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6 thoughts on “Fantasy islands

  1. This really does look like you stepped right out of your book. I wonder what you would have written differently if you had gone on this trip first?! I can’t imagine it could have been any better, but what a great experence to drawl from.

    • So true, Linda, I kept marveling that I was there in the same situation as Matt and Cristy on the island and it was all so perfect. I think I got it pretty right in the book, though maybe I might have written a few different things about the waterfall. For one thing, the water was so much colder at the waterfall than it was at the beach. And another, the Thai waterfall came from a long way up. You looked way up to the top of a cliff and a brilliant blue sky and the palm trees seemed to lean over the cascading water.
      But having the water too cold in THE CASTAWAY BRIDE waterfall scene might have affected the (ahem!) action–so maybe it was better the way I wrote it!
      Thanks so much for your comment!

  2. Kandy, what a magic place! How amazing that your imagination dreamed up a tropical island and your work ended up taking you there. No wonder you had such a lovely time.

    • It was quite uncanny, Elizabeth! But then my vacation dreams are all about yearning for tropical beaches and warm waters so I guess it was no surprise that I wrote a book about a dream island!

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