Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Choosing Novel Settings
It's Tuesday which means the Romance Writers' Weekly blog hop is hopping away. This week's question was posed by the lovely and talented Brenda Margriet. http://www.brendamargriet.com/blog/romance-writers-weekly-whats-up-with-settings-lovewritechat
Brenda asked her fellow writers how we choose our settings and whether they are real or fictional, no matter the genre. I hope you made it over here from Elizabeth's blog http://elizabeth-janette.blogspot.com
In THURSDAYS AT COCONUTS, my characters live in a town called Crystal City (fictional) and is set in Missouri (real). Crystal City is mid-sized and loosely based on my home-town of Springfield. Side note: Since I have cops in my novel, I tried out different names to make sure the abbreviated version of Crystal City Police Department (CCPD) would sound okay over a police scanner! I do enjoy the familiarity of writing about places I know but also like the challenge of creating entirely new worlds, people, and places.
As far as my three main characters' job settings, they're all very different and only one is similar to my real-life experience.
Alexandra (Alex) is a bank marketer who gets involved with a sexy bad-boy cop who may be stalking her. I was a bank marketer and did date a cop (cough, cough). Many of her duties such as creating branding campaigns, chairing 8 o'clock Monday morning marketing meetings, writing television scripts, and getting promoted to VP all happened to me.
Hope is a high school counselor. Of course, we ALL went to high school but I've never been a teacher nor a counselor, so Hope is completely fictional. She has hippie parents (I didn't have those either) but I loved the seventies and wanted to incorporate that decade. Hope also hates her looks, hair, and compares herself to her gorgeous girlfriends. Who doesn't do that?!
Suzy is a single mom who is a wedding planner. I, too, was a single mom for many years. As far as Suzy's company, Weddings By Suzanne, I've never been a wedding planner but discovered I thoroughly enjoyed coming up with themed weddings--and creating neurotic brides and a nasty, pretentious mother of the bride was icing on the ol' wedding cake.
So, the long answer to the question posed is a little of both--I used a few real-life experiences and settings but the vast majority of my novel is fictional. I hope you'll comment and then head over to Gemma's blog at http://gemmabrocato.com/blog I was lucky enough to meet Gemma/Heidi when we both went to Kansas City to hear Stephen King talk. What a great time. Meeting the fun, sweet, prolific Gemma and hearing SK on the same day! Wow. It's not often that authors who live in other cities, states, and countries get to meet, so this was a big deal. I'll never forget her first words when I walked into the B&N coffee shop. "I'd know you anywhere." Sweet.
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