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Guest Post: Author Stuck On Geocaching

Stuck On YouGUEST POST

Heather Thurmeier, author of romance novel Stuck on You, tells us about her experience of writing about geocaching.

“First, I want to say a quick thank you to It’s Not About The Numbers for having me on their blog today. I wasn’t sure what kind of a response I would get when I started reaching out to geocachers about my book but I shouldn’t have been worried.

Geocachers are such an amazing group of welcoming and supportive people. I’m thrilled to be here and sharing my book with my fellow players.

In Stuck On You, I created a brand new reality TV show. I wanted it to feel similar to The Amazing Race but also different and unique. I knew I wanted to keep my contestants local, instead of travelling around the world, but that meant I had to figure out a way to keep things interesting for my readers.

Then I thought of geocaching … I’ve done some geocaching (although I’m no expert!) and I knew how fun and interesting each cache can be. So I combined The Amazing Race with geocaching to create Treasure Trekkers – a fictional reality TV show, where contestants geocache to collect points and prizes. Now that’s a show I would totally sign up for!

It was trickier than I originally thought to add geocaching into Stuck On You. I didn’t want to bog readers down with a bunch of longitudes and latitudes. I might find that interesting but I wasn’t convinced they would think so. And I didn’t want to go into detail about how to use a GPSr or navigate to a cache. Truth be told, I’m not that good at entering in cache locations via L&L. We find our caches online, then send them over to the GPS unit , so all we have to do is look them up – or I use my iPhone app.

Heather Thurmeier

Heather Thurmeier

My biggest goal was simply to seamlessly integrate geocaching into the book so that it added to the story but didn’t distract from the important things happening to the characters.

The most exciting part to write about was different ways each cache could be hidden. One of the first caches my contestants find is a nano the size of an acorn. Now when I started writing this book, I knew I had to have this cache in there somewhere.

One of my very first caches was an acorn nano – and it took forever to find it. We must have had 10 to 12 of us looking everywhere in a row of trees for nearly 20 minutes. We were too stubborn to give up …

Finally, my sister found a tiny metal acorn hanging on a branch. I think my characters have the same reaction to that find as we did – annoyance, excitement and relief that we could finally stop looking!

Writing about geocaching made me realise how much I enjoy it. And I’m so excited that my book might help introduce a few new people to this hobby. I hope readers enjoy the story and decide to check out geocaching for themselves. It’s one of my favourite activities to get my family outdoors in the warm months and a fun way to spend quality time together, so I hope others will give it a try too.

The only thing I didn’t like about writing Stuck On You during the cold months was that it really made me want to go out geocaching. But I’m too much of a wuss to cache in the cold. I’m already looking forward to spring so we can get back outside and find some new hides!”

Want a taste of Thurmeier’s book? Check out the excerpt below:

    “I don’t believe it,” Ben said. He walked in between Paige and Miles and looked up
into the tree hanging over the trail. “They are really sneaky.”
    Ben reached up and plucked something from the branch, directly above the GPS unit
on the ground. Whatever it was, it was tiny. Literally the size of an acorn.
    “What is it?” Paige asked, stepping closer to get a better look.
    “A nano-cache. I read about these online on the geocaching websites, but I’ve never
seen one in real life.”
    “That’s what we were trying to find?” Zoe sneered at the acorn as if it had
purposefully wronged her.
    “Yep. It was exactly where it was supposed to be.” Ben beamed triumphantly.
Zoe held out her hand. “Awesome. I’ll take that now, thanks.”
    “The hell you will,” Miles said, stepping in front of her as if Ben needed some kind
of protection. “We found it. And if we’re the first ones to open it, the prize inside is
ours.”
    “Like hell it is,” she fired back. “We were here first. It’s ours.”
    Miles laughed then turned his back on her. “Sure, you may have gotten here first but
that’s not what the rules say. It’s the team who finds the cache that gets the prize.” Paige
moved closer, watching as Ben twisted off the miniature acorn top. He pulled out a tiny
piece of paper and unfolded it at least six or seven times before it was large enough to
read. The cache number card was easy to spot, but there was another paper with it. A
smile grew on Ben’s face.
    “Ten thousand dollars.”

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