We all know that romance can hatch and blossom and burst anywhere. Take my husband and me — we got to know each other while working together at a summer day camp for three-year-olds to sixth graders and did fall in love over games of knockout with a dozen pre-teen boys and while cleaning up the lunchroom after thirty-some elementary-aged kids.
Now that I think about it, perhaps those things showed us quite a lot about each other. Hmm…
Anyway, when writing fiction, there are certain settings that just evoke romance. Paris, modern-day and historical. A beach. A cabin in the woods. Historical England, aka any setting where Jane Austen found inspiration.
Each of us probably find different settings bring romance to mind more than others. For example, Chicago is — to me — a very romantic city. My husband and I dated a lot downtown. We did the lakefront boat tour, went to the zoo (once with about sixty kids in tow! Day camp again.), explored Marshall Fields, took a carriage ride around the old water tower, got lost looking for the most romantic restaurant ever (Burger King — ha!), and ate at an authentic, upscale Italian restaurant that a former mafia member my husband knew had recommended to us.
When I was working on Kept and told people where the book was set — downtown Chicago — I got a variety of looks from people, most of them bad. Chicago has done such a good job of trashing its own reputation that people don’t think anything good can come out of Chicago! Especially since we’re talking about Christian fiction. But to me, Chicago can be one of the most beautiful, romantic, gorgeous cities out there. It’s all based on my perspective and experience, isn’t it?
Lately I’ve been following two different Australian families who are renovating abandoned chateaus in France, Chateau de Gudanes and Chateau Le Mung. Since one of my most favoritest books ever is Chateau of Echoes by Siri Mitchell, it makes total sense that these two buildings would hold all sorts of romance for me. I’d love to travel over there and stay in an historic chateau and explore these out-of-the-way rural settings. Paris? Sure, we’ll stop there. But give me these chateaus any day! Can’t you just feel the story ideas start to come out? You could go historical, contemporary — or both like Siri did. The mountains behind the massive home, the painted wood beams, the ancient kitchens, and the views from the many, many attic windows — so much potential for romance!
I’m curious what unique setting do you find romantic? If you were or are a storyteller, what place would you choose to set a romantic story? Do tell!