The protagonist in my young adult novel is from Emerald Isle, North Carolina though very little of the book actually takes place there. I’ve been working on this book for awhile (gulp, years). I’ve tried on a few occasions to make a research trip to Emerald Isle. I did a lot of research online before I went and while I was writing the book, but there are some things that can’t be captured via Internet.
Like this foam from the ocean that looked like snow….
Like this bike trail that I’m sure my protagonist would run on…
Or the way a cold sunset feels…
I spent all of high school living at a beach–in the tropics in Southeast Asia, but it’s a very different experience being at a North Carolina beach in December. While I’m sorry that I waited so long to take this trip, I knew what types of details I needed to revise since I was so far into the book. I didn’t write very much while I was there, but I walked several miles a day, took hundreds of pictures, and soaked up as many sensory details as I could. And I can’t wait to go back in a warmer season.
And I’ll tell you a little secret:
The first person I met in Emerald Isle had the same name as my protagonist’s mother in my book.
And I wrote that character into the book a couple of years before I ever set foot on Emerald Isle. How’s that for serendipity?