By Elizabeth Harmon
Like Nora, the heroine of Heating It Up: A Red Hot Russians Novella, I had a great time discovering the book’s incredibly cool setting, Amity Bay, Antarctica. Though Amity Bay is a fictional place, I used several real life research stations as inspiration and used my imagination to fill in the rest. When a couple of experts reviewed my manuscript, I was very happy to know I’d gotten it right.
While Antarctica has no native population, and even during the peak summer season, boasts fewer than 10,000 residents, its natural wonder makes it an amazing place. Though Nora is new to “the Ice” she finds a lot to love about the place.
The Top 10 Coolest Things Nora Discovers in Antarctica
Red Waterfalls, Green Ice Burgs– They come in all shapes, sizes and even colors. Arriving on a chartered boat, Nora spots a rare bottle green iceberg, and sketches it. The ethereal green color actually comes from ancient trapped plankton, but she thinks it looks like crushed emeralds.
Penguins– They’re cute, noisy, smelly and they mate for life.
The Seasons Are Backward– Because Antarctica lies in the southern hemisphere, seasons there are the opposite of seasons in the north — summer runs from October to February and winter covers the remainder of the year.
Southern Lights– Also known as aurora australis, the best time to view the Southern Hemisphere’s version of the Northern Lights is from May through September.
Mystery– Love weird stuff? Antarctica has plenty, such as a mountain range the size of the Alps that’s buried completely beneath the ice, abandoned cabins and ghost towns, never seen before life forms living in sub-glacial lakes
Beer– The world’s most expensive beer was brewed using a melted Antarctic iceburg.
The Men!– With 30 different countries operating research stations on the continent, there’s international flavor everywhere you go. Amity Bay is run by a Canadian science foundation, but its residents come from the U.S., Canada, the UK, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and more.
The TransAntarctic Film Festival– It’s real name is slightly different, but despite the lack of costumes, scenery or a shooting schedule longer then 48 hours, this continent-wide amateur film competition challenges research stations to create original short films and posting them online. The award-winning British film described in Heating It Up actually exists. Check out Rise of The Snowmen here.
Want more? Check out this post, and read Heating It Up!