My very first series (the Walk in the Park series) was set in some of my favorite National Parks. I so enjoyed writing about the day-to-day life of a park ranger, but even more than that, I loved getting to share some of the most interesting pieces of history about those places.
Even in my Amish novels (Love Finds You in Charm, Ohio, and Love Finds You in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania) I was able to sneak in some history as well as some fun facts about those areas.
In fact, every book I’ve written (so far) has been set in a real place that I’ve visited. I’ve traveled a lot doing research and loved every minute of it. I still sometimes think about future books and have clear settings already in mind based either on places I’ve been or places I want to visit. (Someday look for a book from me set on a Hawaiian island…)
I’m currently working on a new project though, that’s a little different for me. For the first time ever, instead of setting a series in a place I’ve visited or at least a place I can research…I’m creating a fictional world! So far, it’s lots of fun.
Some of you know that my husband and I are in the process of building a little farm on our property. In addition to a large garden, we have chickens, goats, ducks, and a turkey. We’re having a lot of fun working the land and watching the animals grow. Plus the farm fresh eggs taste great!
The story I’m working on is set in a (fictional) small town and my recent jump into the farming world is serving as inspiration.
It’s been a while since I’ve used a rural setting—most of my books have been set in cities. I’m a mix of rural/city myself—I grew up in a tiny (no stoplight) town, lived in the city for many years after college, then recently moved back to my small town and settled down. I love small town life, but after a couple of weeks I’m itching for some time in the city…and after a couple of days of traffic and pavement, I can’t wait to be back on the farm.
Which brings me to a question for readers…do you prefer reading books set in rural an urban settings? The slow pace of a small town or the hustle and bustle of a big city? Or do you enjoy both?