You might find a more stunning tropical beach at some posh destination, but for the price of lodging and ease of access (assuming you live in the Southeast U.S.), you can't beat this little beauty. Amelia Island is also the site of one of my best vacations ever.
Why? For starters, any beach—by its very nature—immediately conjures images of fabulous holidays. There's something about the ocean, the salty air and sound of the waves that takes your cares away and makes life somehow better. Seriously, have you ever heard anyone say, “We went to the beach and it was awful”?
No way. You may get some complaints about rain, although most of us love walking on the beach in an afternoon shower, but in general you have a head start to a great vacation if there’s a coast in your destination.
Yet this particular beach vacation had more—so much more. In addition to the advantages of sand and sea, my hubby was healthy, my almost-twenty daughter wasn’t grumpy, and the accommodations were awesome. My spouse and I spend a full day simply making a sandcastle—although when you’re married to an architectural drafter, there’s nothing simple about seaside construction.
So being a writer, what’s the first thing I did when I got home? You guessed it, set a story on the island.
But it didn’t work. I’m guessing my error was my inability to associate conflict with this particular location--I couldn't associate the location with anything bad. I think I had better luck with a different beach town in my young adult thriller, The Secret Language of Leah Sinclair. My critique partner, Linda Lovely, created an awesome, conflict-rich story set in a seaside community in her page-turner, Dear Killer, but my endeavor didn’t have the same outcome.What do you think? Do beaches make good backdrops for novels?