Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Real vs. Fake Settings

Tip of the Day: since I've talked a lot about procrastination on this blog, thought I would point out this post by Laura Murray on additional ways to combat it. She has some excellent ideas (though--not sure if I'm ready to commit to implementing them just yet).

This weekend, I got to take a very brief trip to visit my sister and some other family members on the east coast. Prior to the visit, my mother had happened to read an article that Nora Roberts lived in a nearby town, and the town itself was featured heavily in one of her latest trilogies: Inn Boonsboro (which incidentally Roberts herself owns the actual inn and refurbished it after a fire).

Anyway, we decided to take a bit of a field trip to visit the town and check out some of the places featured in the books. I hadn't read any, so I just went along for the ride. But while in town, I stopped at the bookstore owned by her husband and picked up one of her books to give it a try.

And I have to say, I probably never would have bought the book had I not been there, but now I'm completely intrigued with the idea of reading about the local pizza place that we lunched at that's featured in the book or learning more about the inn itself.

In my own books, I tend to stick with fake settings. Primarily because it usually doesn't work out to use real locations for the purposes of the novel. Or I can't research locations well enough that geographically work were the novel is set.

However, I'm completely re-changing my thought process on this. It was so much fun to visit a real place featured in a book and it sort of added to the entire experience. Plus, if you use real settings and businesses (especially in a small town) you have an instant revenue source, built in businesses that will sell your book, and everyone in town will want to read the book.

As for Nora Roberts, she's clearly a genius  Not only to write about her town, but to include several of the place she owns in her books, which create instant tourism buzz. Nothing like cross promoting!

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


Kate Fall said...

When I lived in Charlottesville, I read Rita Mae Brown's novels that take place in Charlottesville. It was fun to read about a car wash murder in MY car wash.

Emily Marshall said...

Ha. That would be funny and a tad creepy.