Location, location, location.

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I don’t know how other authors pick locations. But here’s an insight into how I do it.

1. I’ve lived there (or at least visited.)

Some of the locations featured in my stories are places I’ve been which spoke to me in some way.

Windermere/Grasmere in the Grasmere Trilogy is a prime example. The Lake District, in general, is one of my favourite places in the entire world. If I could live anywhere, it would probably be there.

2. Plot Led.

Found You is probably the greatest example from my books. I knew the story had to be set in Florida. The Keys was honestly the only place that would fit what I had in mind for the novella.

And, I fell in love with the Keys while researching for Found You.

CHICKENS!

3. My Bucket List.

Last, but not least, I pick places I’ve always wanted to visit. When I was younger (6 weeks old to 21 years old), I travelled quite extensively. I’ve been to twenty plus countries and lived in five.

I’ve always had a little bucket list of places I wanted to go. And hopefully, one day, I’ll be able to travel again. It’s been ages since I visited another country.

The Sin Bin is the best example of this one. Cornwall is a place that I’ve always wanted to spend a lot of time at. I think we went there when I was a baby, but I obviously can’t remember, so I don’t count it.

Researching the series was great fun for me because I got to vicariously live in the lovely villages that I’ve longed to see.

I’m sure there are more reasons, but those are definitely my top three.

How about you? If you’re a writer, how do you pick the setting of your story?

For readers, how important is the setting?

Book Review: After the Scrum

76062-after_scrum_frontcover “This is one of the books I keep coming back to. It’s an easy story with just enough tension to have a plot, humor and fun banter. After a hard day or sloughing through one of those emotional angsty reads, this is one of those books that sets my world to rights again.” 4 stars on Amazon

The Most Difficult Character I’ve Written.

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I thought I’d share five things about the most difficult character I’ve ever written—Looe, Cornwall.

Okay.

It’s a village, not a person, but in After the Scrum, it felt like one. It’s not easy as it seems to bring a place to life.  So here we go:

  1. Colourful villagers. It takes villagers to raise a village. That’s not right, but it does take interesting individuals to make a place stand out.
  2. Plausibility. If my readers can’t believe a town exists the way I write it, they won’t buy into the story.
  3. Making it likeable. I wanted people to not only believe Looe existed, but want to visit.
  4. Research. Self-explanatory, right?
  5. Bringing it to life without turning it into a caricature of itself. I wanted readers to laugh with the people of Looe in After the Scrum, but not necessarily at them.

Do you think a place can be as critical to a story as the characters themselves?

 

Five Things about Cornwall

Beautiful sunrise over fishing boats in the harbour at Padstow in Cornwall

In celebration of my upcoming After the Scrum, I thought I’d do a series of five things blogs related to it.  This week is all location, location, location.  So, five things about Cornwall.

1. It’s lovely, no truly, it is.

2. Quaint villages which inspire all sorts of wonderful things.

3. The sea.

4. Old castles.

5. Pasties.  All the pasties. So many pasties.

What’s your favorite place to visit?  Cornwall is one of mine.