Novelists On The Road

Good morning from Monterey County, California.

Novelists on the roadNovelists on the road or on vacation are a different breed. For fun come join me on my two week stay at my son’s home where Proman and I are dog sitting.

We decided that since this area is so rich in possibilities, we would take them one at a time. So we’re doing an adventure a day. That works perfectly for me, since in between that gives me time to fantasize about book possibilities. Yep, novelists on the road don’t exactly leave their professions behind, even though I did leave my computer behind and am writing this on my iPad. In fact the longer I travel, the more I feel like writing.

Have you ever done a food tour? This is rapidly becoming my favorite way to see a city. I did one in Puerto Rico and now this one in Monterey. As we ate our way through town, we stopped at the Monterey Museum where we were met by a young man pedaling coffee—and yes, I spelled it correctly because this is a mobile Nitro Coffee stand. While we sipped and listened to him describe the way the coffee is made, I wondered how many different places he visits in a day. What does he see? He has a unique vantage point on life in Monterey—as does our food tour guide. Wouldn’t they make interesting amateur sleuths? They show up at their favorite restaurant and…

Novelist on the road Monterey County is the only place I remember visiting that gives a twelve degree range when predicting temperatures for the day. That’s because you can leave your house where the sun is shining and descend into fog and cool weather. So far we’ve visited Carmel Village, Carmel-By-The-Sea, Garland Ranch, Fort Ord National Museum, and The Farm in Salinas. We’re learning to layer since the weather is unpredictable. Every place was fascinating, but the Hobbit Houses of Carmel-By-The-Sea were the best photo opp by far.

While there I stumbled on an exhibit of original drawings/paintings by Dr. Seuss. What fun to see.

I wondered how it would be to live in a town like this one. Since it’s definitely a tourist town, no stories here about people trying to hide away, but what a great setting for a family working together to keep an old, established business alive as a wicked town council member does everything possible to end it. Of course there would be family strife and secrets, and the eventual solidarity needed to overcome adversity. I see a romance, maybe an older couple for a change? Kept apart for years by family loyalties and disloyalties?

Novelists on the roadAnd then there’s the fantastic Greek restaurant with the warmest, friendliest people serving, cooking and  yes, dancing with their customers between tables to bouzouki music. I think that one’s a keeper. Stay tuned.

Today we’re visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have an idea already. A sweet little fish with memory loss wants to reunite with her parents and ends up in a place very much like that one.  But darn, Pixar beat me to it. The Marine Life Institute in Finding Dory is based on the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Maybe I’ll just enjoy today.

We’ll see.


  1. Nancy Lepri on September 5, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Seeing we’re in the midst of Hurricane Dorian, I would love to join you! Unfortunately here in Southeast North Carolina, we are under a curfew! Say a prayer for all of us in the path of this storm, and have a wonderful vacation. I hope you get some ideas for your next novel!

    • Emilie Richards on September 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm

      Nancy, my heart goes out to you and to everyone in the path or already victimized. We know how lucky we are that our side of FL was spared.

  2. Rita Tellier on September 5, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Your emails make my day. Thanks

  3. Kathryn Riley on September 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    My husband and I had our two day honeymoon in Carmel 56 years ago. We loved it so much, we went back for our 5th anniversary. Unfortunately, we haven’t been back since. It will always hold a special place in our hearts. Sounds like you’re making the most out of your vacation. We’ll be with you in spirit!!

    • Emilie Richards on September 5, 2019 at 5:55 pm

      What a lovely honeymoon spot. I hope you’re able to return some day. We just got back from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What a spectacular way to spend part of a day.

  4. Judy M Zell on September 5, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    You could put that Greek restaurant into your Tarpon Springs book this winter. I think most authors (and readers) are inspired by travel. I met one of my other favorite authors, Merline Lovelace, while we were on a cruise around the British Isles. She gave me an autographed copy of one of her books while we were on a bus in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sure enough, about a year later, I bought her newest book, and it was set at St. Andrews golf course in the Edinburgh area.

    • Emilie Richards on September 5, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      Well, you know… We seem to be visiting a lot of Greek restaurants.

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