Guest blogging… Zoe Archer

contest is now closed…winner to be posted next week

We have a guest blogger today… the awesome and lovely Zoe Archer…(and her book rocks, BTW)

Looking around my office, you would find the following:

Filing cabinet
My husband (we’re both writers and share the office)
Overstuffed bookcases
Weird gray cat
Elliptical trainer

Fairly ordinary stuff, though I would argue convincingly that my husband is most assuredly not ordinary, and my cat is an uncanny creature from an alternate dimension. Largely, though, it’s a perfectly normal home office. One that hardly betrays my secret power.

What’s my secret power? I can travel around the world in ten seconds.

Not literally, of course. I don’t have the gift of teleportation or astral projection, and I’m pretty sure I can’t fly. But, being a writer with access not only to my own substantial research library as well as that magical world known as the Internet, I can sit at my desk and travel to the farthest corner of Asia. Or A tiny island in the South Pacific. Or realms of magic yet uncharted by mortals.

I never confuse what I write with so-called “real life,” yet for me, part of the appeal of writing is the ability to travel to far-away places that I might never actually visit. There’s a certain amount of wish fulfillment in writing, and while I never dream of being a bluestocking in Regency London, I do dream about crisscrossing the globe. There are places I know I will eventually travel to, but there are places that are less likely. That’s where writing comes into play.

When it came time for me to write my new BLADES OF THE ROSE romance series, I knew without a doubt I wanted to set it all over the world. And so I did: Mongolia, the Cyclades Islands in Greece, the Canadian Rockies. Admittedly, I didn’t know much about any of these places when I first started outlining the books, but libraries and the Internet are wonderful things. I found myself transported to the harsh beauty of the Gobi Desert, or sun-baked islands in the Aegean, or the humbling and beautiful mountains of Canada.

The biggest surprise in my armchair travels was Mongolia. I watched films, looked at photographs and read books, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to go there. Not only is it a beautiful country, but there are still many Mongolians who lead traditional nomadic lives, herding livestock and living in gers (the time-honored tent also known as a yurt). If one is polite and respectful, some of the nomads even permit visitors to stay with them and partake of Mongolian life and hospitality. Now I’ve added visiting Mongolia to my list of must-see places.

Traveling is wonderful, but there is also something wonderful about curling up with a book in a comfy chair at home, and reading about distant lands. Our minds are taken far away, and then we can get up, kiss the husband, grab a snack, pet the cat, and then transport ourselves away again. If I can provide those moments of exploration and discovery for my readers, then I know I’ve done my job properly.

Now, I’m off to voyage to 18th century London. Oh, did I forget to mention that I’m a time-traveler, too?

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Is there some place you’ve always wanted to visit? Leave a comment, and I’ll pick a winner at random. The winner gets a signed copy of WARRIOR, the first book in the BLADES OF THE ROSE series—and it’s set in Mongolia! I look forward to reading your answers.

Until then, happy travels!


edited to add… contest will run through the weekend. I’ll close the thread when the contest ends.  ~Shiloh

34 Replies to “Guest blogging… Zoe Archer”

  1. i would love to visit italy. ive seen a lot of pictures from there and it looks friend went there on her last vacation and she said she had the time of her life.

  2. Too many places to mention. Europe, all of it. Especially the medieval castles. Yes, all of them 🙂

    And I would love to orbit the earth. To be able to see into space and all of the stars without all of the smog and pollution clouding up the view.

  3. I love travelling and history! I was lucky enough to study abroad in England where I explored some of Europe and would go back in a heartbeat!

    I would love to go to Eygpt and walk in the shadows of the pyramids. Hopefully one day I will get there, til then I’ll just use books to take me places.

    Can’t wait to read Warrior. Congrats!

  4. Venice, Italy because that is where my grandfather was born. Would love to see in person.

  5. That’s the wonderful thing about reading. You get to go all over the world and sometimes even out of the world. There are lots of places I like visiting in books and many places I would love to see someday. Right now on top of my list is Alaska. It looks like a beautiful and open place.

  6. I really want to go to the French Countryside. It just seems so pretty there and relaxing. Tour a vineyard or two, each in a sidewalk cafe without the hectic pace of the city.

  7. I would go to Australia. I have always wanted to go there. I love the cover to your book.

  8. Ooooh I want to read this book so bad!

    I want to go to GREECE! I’ve been to other countries in Europe but never to Greece and I love the language and the pictures and the mythology so very much.

  9. What a loaded question. I would love to visit Rome, London, Egypt, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Greece, Hong Kong (again), Beijing, and Tokyo.

    And your book sounds great! It got a glowing review from Felicia Day on Goodreads, which made me very interested in it. 🙂

  10. If I could travel anywhere, I’d go to Great Britain and travel all over England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. I’d like to see all of the places I’ve read about over the years, including all the tourist sites like museums, etc.

  11. I would love to travel to Scotland, where I hear once you visit, you never want to leave! Which is fine with me;I would be more then happy to stay! 🙂

  12. I’ve always wanted to go to Mongolia! Ever since I found out that I am distantly related to Mongolians (very distantly) I wanted to go and visit it. It looks so beauitful.

  13. I once read a travel writer’s advice that you can write about places you’ve never been to (“Do you seriously think I’ve been all those places?” she asked) by chatting up the tourism beaureau at the place in question–and as you said, read all you can about the place, see videos, see photos. How excellent to learn so much about Mongolia.

    I’d like to visit Pern. The planet from Anne McCaffrey’s novels.

  14. I’ve always been drawn to medieval Scotland/England though I’m not sure I’d really want to experience it in person, lol. And I can personally attest to the majesty and beauty of the Canadian Rockies. I’ve always wanted to go somwhere tropical & peaceful. 🙂

    Congrats on the new series Zoe! They sound fascinating.

    Congrats on the new series Zoe!

  15. I would love to go to Ireland. I had family immigrate from there in the 1800s and it’s supposed to be a beautiful country. Otherwise, I’d go to the Black Forest in Germany. Again, family immigrated from there and we lost any records prior to that, so in a sense that’s where that branch of my family started.

  16. I would love to travel across the world; Norway, because my ancestors came from there, and well Europe because it’s fascinating, India, Nepal. . .oh, there’s just too many countries I want to visit. 😀

  17. I would love to travel to every historic place in the world. Every monument, every battlefield. I love history and I love to travel! Anywhere I can write is a place I want to be 🙂

  18. I’d love to go SO many places – Prague, Alaska, and Italy would be my top three.
    I see you have an ellipse. I’m a workout nut and have been for years. Don’t you just love the kick ass workout you get on the ellipse?

  19. EVERYwhere. I’m kind of a nomad at heart. I’ve seen almost everything-except for the sandy dunes of desert.

    I’d love to pretend I was Lawrence of Arabia for a day.

  20. Without a doubt I would plan a trip for my husband and I to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. My grandpa was born in Wales and I have family somewhere in Ireland. I love those countries and want to visit so badly. Until then books are the way I visit:)

  21. I think I would say Scotland, all the sexy accents. I could listen to them for days and then add in the scenery. Heaven.

  22. I love to travel and have done a lot of it but Australia has eluded me so far. I’d love to visit the down under.

  23. I’ve done a ton of travel, but there are still more places on my list. Right now, at the very top is the Middle East. We’ve been planning a trip to Egypt and Jordan, but life keeps getting in the way. Maybe next year.

  24. Australia and New Zealand! I haven’t visited Mongolia either, but I’m a sucker for those cool accents down under 🙂

  25. Years back, I was fortunate to work and travel in my job. It took me to New Zealand and Antarctica. They are both wonderful, beautiful continents. So those two places are where I would like to revisit.

  26. I would travel to Ireland! It’s a beautiful country filled with mystery, magic, and more! Defentinely Ireland!

  27. I haven’t been to Mongolia, probably a bit to isolated and rugged for me. I’ve traveled many places, so I guess I’d go back and do New Zealand and Australia more in depth, get away from the coast.

  28. I am not very adventurous in real life. I would like to visit Hawaii. I save the exciting traveling for my reading. 🙂

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