To travel through space and time is as easy as opening a book. If the author has done their job well the setting creates a beautiful stage that could only happen in this place and time. An environment surrounds the characters in a subtle way that shapes who they are and why they react the way they do. I use setting as a secondary character that helps move the story along its path.
Each character will see the landscape through a filter of their own desires. One might look at the Texas Hill Country and feel empowered by the soaring cliffs and rushing water. They get a sense of security and a connection to family when they see the deep roots of the giant cypress trees along the river bank.
Anjelica Ortega in A Solider’s Suprise Family, loves living in the Texas Hill Country. She lives in a farmhouse built by her great-grandparents. Garret, the new Texas trooper has no roots. Sitting on her porch swing, he learns about family, faith and love. Porches are great places to learn life lessons.
But on the other hand, a character raised in the same setting might resent the jagged, rough rocks and feels trapped. This would describe Nikki Bergmann, from my upcoming release, Texas Daddy.
To her, the roots were an anchor to a place they want to escape. With a secret, she leaves her hometown and doesn’t come back for ten years. Faith, love and family will give her the healing and forgiveness she needs to find everything she didn’t even know she wanted in Clear Water Texas. (I just got the cover so you’re the first to see it.)
I love playing with the setting of Texas Hill Country. It’s where I grew up and live. I love writing about the people that walk the land.
I have yet to write of other locations, but I love reading about places far way. One place I have not been yet, but love reading about is Alaska. There are two series that I have read that took me to Alaska. The first was by Teri Wilson. Her descriptions of the dog races, the sky, the reindeer farm all put me right in the middle of Alaska. They are breathtaking and had me add Alaska to my must do list.
Another series that will have you experiencing Alaska is Belle Calhoun’s, Alaskan Grooms. These rugged heroes were shaped by the wilds of Alaska. From scandal to plane crashes, she takes you through an adventure on the last frontier while you get to watch the heroes fall in love.
Alaska does give itself to make some gorgeous covers.
Maybe you prefer the metropolitan setting of New York, where the people and places will be so different from a small town in Texas.
I love visiting this exciting city. I would never want to live there, but it is one of my favorite places to explore.
The sounds, landscape, and feel can make your heart beat faster as you take in all in. The street vendors, the building that blocks the sun, the traffic, the museum and the parks, are all that make New York a hub of humanity.
Another setting I love to read about is New Orleans. Also a city I love to visit. The diverse city has a very laid-back feel compared to New York. The cemeteries with the Spanish Moss dancing in the breeze to the lazy riverboats making their way up and down the Mississippi.
You can stroll around the Frech Quarter late into the night. The music and art are uniquely NOLA. I do avoid Bourbon Street after dark, but there is so much more to New Orleans. I have a character in an upcoming book that moves to Texas from New Orleans and is a little different than my typical cowboys.
Right now, I’m researching Scottland. Next year I turn fifty, and I want to celebrate by visiting the cities and driving the back roads. Have you been? What is the one thing that is a must do? You have to share so I can add it to my list.
So, I talked about Texas, Alaska New York, New Orleans and Scottland. Where would you want to go? Do you like the familiar or do you want something different?
When you pick up a book, do you look for certain settings? Do you have a location that you must have or maybe some you avoid?
I have two last pictures I want to share. I have never had a desire to visit Japan, but then my friend and fabulous author Teri Wilson posted these pictures. Sigh. Now I want to go. Maybe I’ll find a book that can take me there.