Belinda Williams is a "new to me" author... one of the up and coming writers that Australia, and its wonderful Romance Writers of Australia organisation, is producing. Her post today on the role of Vigeland Park in Norway in her debut novel (which is released next week) THE BOYFRIEND SESSIONS demonstrates how importance place is to a writer (and what inveterate travellers, Australians are!).
Belinda is a marketing communications specialist and copywriter who allowed an addiction to romance and chick-lit to get the better of her. She was named a top ten finalist in the Romance Writers of Australia Emerald Award in both 2013 and 2014.
Her other addictions include music and cars. Belinda’s eclectic music taste forms the foundation of many of her writing ideas and her healthy appreciation for fast cars means she would not so secretly love a Lamborghini. For now she’ll have to settle with her son’s Hot Wheels collection and writing hot male leads with sports cars.
VIGELAND PARK, NORWAY
Where contemporary romance meets early 20th century sculpture: The Vigeland Park, Norway
I write contemporary romance so my fun fact is less of a fact and more of an amazing place I’ve visited that I just knew had to make it into one of my books.
I visited Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway, in 2007, and this incredible place has stayed with me ever since. Below is an excerpt taken from the park’s website:
"The Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park made by a single artist, and is one of Norway's most popular tourist attractions. The park is open to visitors all year round.
The unique sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland's lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Vigeland was also in charge of the design and architectural layout of the park. The Vigeland Park was mainly completed between 1939 and 1949."
Vigeland Park is like no other park I’ve ever visited (or heard of) and the sculptures are endlessly fascinating. The park itself is exceptionally beautiful and when there you find yourself wandering the paths wondering if you’ve discovered some sort of magical otherworldly land. In many ways it could be described as an open-air museum that touches every stage of human life and human emotion.
In The Boyfriend Sessions, my main character Christa is a graphic designer who first learned about Vigeland Park when she did her degree at university. Since then, she’s always vowed she’ll go there and after missing out on a promotion at work, it’s finally the kick Christa needs to pack her bags. She decides to visit France on her way and finds herself staying longer than originally planned after meeting the distracting Benjamin Renard. From there, things don’t go exactly to plan.
And here’s a glimpse of Vigeland Park in my story:
On my first visit, it was dark and the sculptures emerged out of the black as though conjured from my imagination. A veil of snow covered them, but it didn't disguise their beauty. Silent caretakers of the park, they signified every stage of life, from birth to death, from pain to joy, with an honesty that was breathtaking.
And standing there on that frigid night, my toes going numb through my wool socks and thick boots, I finally understood. I thought I had come here to escape, but I hadn't. I had tried to hide, to run from everything and look where it had taken me.
Christa’s journey isn’t all serious though, take a look at THE BOYFRIEND SESSIONS
Please take your seats. The journey to happiness may involve some turbulence.
Christa Morrison has commitment issues, a fact that quickly became apparent after fleeing a romantic proposal in Paris, the thunder of impending wedding bells ringing in her ears.
Back in Sydney, she turns to her closest friends for reassurance. Instead they offer her a startling and painful diagnosis: she’s a relationship junkie. The cure? An extreme rehabilitation program guaranteed to reform even the most L-word illiterate.
With her girlfriends along for the ride, Christa commits to their radical plan and the chances of recovery look good. The only problem is Max Spencer. The one guy Christa—and her friends—never expected her to fall for. But he’s proving to be a temptation she may not have the willpower to resist…
For a shot at happiness, is being with Max worth betraying her friends? And will Christa have the strength to trust her heart when her colorful relationship history comes back to haunt her?
It might just be enough to make a poor girl leave the country (again).
FIND BELINDA WILLIAMS
Website and blog: www.belindawilliamsbooks.com
BUY THE BOYFRIEND SESSIONS (available on preorder)