Now came the great, improbable impetus to the book: a road trip to southeastern Oregon, our first visit to Harney County, a high and lonesome land of mountains and great sagebrush plains, of pure skies, far distances, and silence. Coming back from there, after a two-day, weary, dusty drive with our three kids, I knew my novel would be set in that desert. In the car, when we werent playing Signs Alphabet or singing Forty-Nine Bottles, I began to dream my story. That land had given it to me. I am forever grateful.
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Tombs of Atuan