I wrote a guest post for the fabulous Maine Crime Writers blog recently about a week I spent on an island in Maine thirty years ago. I hold very fond memories of that week on Great Gott's Island.
It got me thinking about other places I have traveled, which are many and international. Which got me thinking about having my protagonist in the Local Foods Mysteries do some traveling later in the series. But it's a cozy series and cozies typically keep the action confined to one town, one setting. There are exceptions to this rule, especially in long-running series. Katherine Hall Page, for example, has set books in Maine, in France, and elsewhere, but usually goes back to her protagonist's Massachusetts town in between other locales.
I could reasonably have farmer Cam Flaherty attend the Common Ground organic farming conference in Unity, Maine, and then head to an island for a week of vacation. But it would be tricky for her to, say, spend time in Mali or Japan or Brazil, places I have lived and know well.
So maybe I need to come up with a new series with a protagonist who has a reason to travel to some of the far-flung places I have experienced as a resident. Sheila Connolly has a new series set in Ireland (and reports that she just got back from two weeks of "research" there, which sounds to me like just an excuse for a cool vacation). I read about someone who created a travel-agent protagonist for just that reason, and Gigi Pandian has a new series featuring an historian who also has just cause to travel (her first book is set in San Francisco and then Scotland).
Come to think of it, I already HAVE a protagonist with a reason to travel. Lauren Rousseau, the linguistics professor in Speaking of Murder, could plausibly head to Japan for an Asian Linguistics conference. Or to Mali to do research on Bamanankan, the first language of a large portion of the population. Or to Brazil, France, Quebec, Puerto Rico, and so on.
So it looks like what I have to come up with is the TIME to write two series at once. Once I do that, I can also go on tax-deductible "research" trips - I look forward to that.
What exotic place would you like to see a mystery series set in? What's your favorite travel mystery? Or do you prefer that your cozy protagonist stays settled in one place?