Contemporary Romance Writer: You are Here — Choosing the Setting of Your Novel
I spent a few days in Estes Park, CO right before Christmas. While wandering through town, my 11-year-old daughter looked up at me and said, “You should write a book set in Estes Park.”
My reply? “I have.”
To which she replied, “Oh. Well … I haven’t read your romance novel yet.”
Perhaps she now understood why we were traipsing through Estes Park with both my camera and my Flip video camera. And why I stopped at certain places and asked my husband to tape me talking about Estes Park and my debut novel, Wish You Were Here (Howard Books, May 2012).
Why is Wish You Were Here (WYWH) set in Colorado in general — and more specifically, in Colorado Springs and Estes Park? Because I live in Colorado Springs and because my family loves spending time in Estes Park. It’s as simple as that.
Keeping it simple. That’s another reason Colorado is the setting for WYWH. As a non-fiction writer transitioning to the Dark Side (learning to write fiction), I had so much to learn. I wrote and rewrote WYWH … well, I lost track of how many times. If I had set my story in Kentucky or Michigan or even Tahiti or Sweden, researching those locations would have taken a huge amount of time. And I needed to focus my attention on other aspects of the novel.
Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll write a contemporary romance set in some exotic locale. But for now — books one and two — I’m staying on home ground.
Note: Yes, that’s me making snow angels with my daughter while wearing snow shoes. Yes, snow and snow shoes figure into WYWH. No snow angels, though.
In Your Words: Do you enjoy reading novels set in your hometown? Or do you like visiting new places? What’s the most favorite location an author’s story has taken you?0 I like this!