And now, here's Kim!
Setting is important
Whether you write about urban settings or small towns, the setting is important. LI readers like a sense of family and community, and a sense of place. Small towns or tiny communities seem to fit that perfectly.
My impression is that for most people, the idea that the place you came from is a fond memory. Even more the older you get because you remember the good. You remember it as unchanged, pure and still wholesome. Always a good setting that captures the imagination. I think it’s also part of the American dream that you can always go home again. I’ll have to keep you updated as I’m attending two reunions this summer; the high school I graduated from outside Chicago and the high school I would have graduated from outside Philadelphia had my family not moved in 7th grade.
That said, LI has published books that take place in mid-sized and big cities. Home is anywhere you live-and you can certainly have a community of family, friends and neighbors in a city. Take Chicago for instance, where I moved into the city after graduating from college. There are pockets of ethnic areas all over the city. Greek Town, China Town, Little Italy to name a few. A sense of community could easily develop there and create the type of atmosphere that LI is looking for. A sense of community in the big city. You could even do it in a condo building along the lake, or in another proposal I have ready to go, the story takes place in a hotel for a week with a group of people who have come together for a contest. They form a family and rely on each other to get through that week.
My first LI book, On Wings of Love, took place in Scottsdale Arizona. Definitely not small, but not too big either. Since the book is about organ donation, I used the tight-knit group of medical personnel to create the community feel.
In my second Home Sweet Home, out now, I used a small fictitious town in Northern Arizona. By combining the two real towns of Prescott and Flagstaff and a bunch of creativity, I created Dynamite Creek and brought in the best of both towns into the story.
Some authors use real towns, other fictitious ones. I’ve done both but I prefer to use made up ones.
Creating fictitious towns allows you to make up whatever you want or need. Even though my towns were based on real ones, the shops lining the main street were made up. Need a bowling alley or a central park? Put it in. It’s your town, you can do what you want.
No matter where the story is set though, you’ll notice the sense of community. It plays an integral role in your characters, their struggles and ultimate resolution to their conflicts so they can have their own Happily-Ever-After. Thanks for stopping by.
Kim WattersStories From The Heart
Camy here: Thanks for joining us, Kim!
How about you? Is the setting for your current manuscript real or fictional, and why did you choose one or the other?
Update: I forgot to mention earlier that Kim will be giving away a copy from her backlist.