#Wanderlust: Weaving Real Life Experiences into Fantasy Worlds

Denali National Park is an amazing place that will always hold my heart. I've been lucky enough to work just outside the park's entrance on four separate occasions.


I have a horrible case of wanderlust that has taken me all over the world. I love hiking, so I try to find a trail or two wherever I go. But there's something special about the mountains in Denali that I've never found anywhere else.

I don't know if it's just the amount of time I spent there, or if there really is a certain magic in the park that can't be replicated anywhere else. Either way, whenever I need to write a book with towering mountains, my mind goes straight toward Denali National Park.


I love weaving places I've been into my stories. Whether it's a maze lake in The Girl Without Magic or a greenhouse in Girl of Glass, things I've actually experienced, big and small, allow me to create more vivid worlds for my readers.


At 6.1 million acres, Denali is bigger than the state of New Hampshire and provides plenty of inspiration. In fact, a good portion of the Ena of Ilbrea series takes place deep in the mountains, and that terrain is pulled directly from Denali.


If you're planning a trip to Alaska, I promise you don't want to miss Denali National Park. If Alaska is a bit too far afield for you, dive into the Ena of Ilbrea series and let Ena's journey through the mountains sate your wanderlust.

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Megan O'Russell

Fantastic Worlds. Unlikely Heroes.