October 26, 2016


By Marilyn Baron

After releasing my 11th book with The Wild Rose Press, I realized I had set three of the books—in three different genres—The Widows’ Gallery, Killer Cruise and my latest book, Stumble Stones: A Novel—partially or completely on a cruise ship.  

Setting your book on the high seas is exotic and exciting and has limitless possibilities for adventure and romance on and off the ship. A lot of things can happen and have happened on a cruise ship. The ship can run into a devastating storm; someone can go overboard or need to be medevaced off the ship; terrorists could attack; and there can be an outbreak of a shipboard virus or a deadly fire.

No matter which genre floats your boat, or whether you’re a multi-published author or a newbie, there are things to know before you go and while onboard that can make your cruise pay dividends:
  • Choose your shore excursions wisely. Which excursion might be a good location for a book setting?
·        Go to Wine Tastings, Bingo, and Art Auctions, dine at a Specialty Restaurant, work out, and go to the Spa.  
  • Discovering all you can about your ship is the best place to start your research. Check the ship’s Web site for facts about the ship you could incorporate into your story. Sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour of the ship. These tours are fascinating and afford you all-access to areas of the ship you wouldn’t ordinarily see, like the galley, engine area, control room, laundry, and bridge, where you might get to chat with the captain or another ship’s officer. You’ll find out more fascinating facts than you’ll ever need to pepper your story. You will usually get a fact sheet or booklet following the tour with all the details. Or take your own tour of your floating hotel.
Take pictures of everything on the ship and on your excursions.
·       Take detailed notes about who you see, what you see, the time of day, where you go, how you feel, how people dress, smells, the weather, shipboard events, local food you sample, prices and local currency.
·        Be observant and eavesdrop at every opportunity.
·        In-Room Daily Activity Sheets or Newsletters contain important notices about shore excursions and descriptions of the ports you’ll be visiting, the itinerary, a message from the captain, entertainment and activities, restaurant options, shopping on board and other details you may want to include in your novel.
  • Maps of your destinations come in handy.  
  • Just the facts, ma’ must have accurate details, like what material is the balcony railing made of?
  • Listen to and record notes about the in-room messages from the captain.
  • After the cruise, ask your travel agent to send you a copy of the menus in the main dining room for future reference. Your characters have to eat. 
Bon Voyage and Best of Luck On Your Next Best Seller!

Marilyn writes humorous coming-of-middle age women’s fiction, historical romantic thrillers, suspense, and paranormal/fantasy. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, she’s a PAN member of RWA and Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), winner of the GRW 2009 Chapter Service Award and writing awards in single title, suspense romance, paranormal/fantasy, and novel with strong romantic elements. Stumble Stones is Marilyn’s 11th novel with The Wild Rose Press. AmazonEncore re-released her book, Sixth Sense, the first in her psychic mystery series, on September 15, 2015. She’s also self-published two novels and a musical and published five humorous, paranormal short stories with TWB Press, an electronic publisher of science fiction, supernatural, horror, and thriller. She’s served three years on the Roswell Reads Steering Committee, sponsored by the City of Roswell, the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System and the Roswell Library, which promotes the value of reading and literacy through the shared community-wide experience of reading and discussing a common book. She was selected as an Atlanta Author in the 2015 Atlanta Author Series and again in 2016. A Miami, Florida, native, she graduated from The University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism (Public Relations sequence) and a minor in Creative Writing. Marilyn lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband, and they have two daughters. To find out more about Marilyn’s books, please visit her Web site at: Social Media Links: Website Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads Amazon Author Page

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