Monday, June 4, 2012
A Sense of Place
How much does the setting matter when you're writing a book?
I was thinking this morning that the last three books I've written - and the one I'm currently in the midst of - all take place on Cape Cod. Now, this is partly (or mostly) because I live here on the Cape year round. Write what you know, right?
But it's also because I think Cape Cod makes for a great setting, with lots of faces, different personalities, and endless possibilities.
I enjoy reading books set at the beach, whether the Cape or the Jersey Shore (but not the t.v. show - never the show) or Savannah (I love Mary Kay Andrews and her books!) ...or books set on islands... I guess I like the ocean as part of the place setting. It's like another character, almost. In The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama, the ocean separating Japan and China plays its own role. (And if you haven't read any of Gail's books, you should! Beautiful writing!)
Where do you like to read about? What kind of settings add that certain something to the novels you choose? Urban cityscapes... Westerns set in Texas with rugged cowboys... dystopian wastelands.... historical novels set on sweeping English moors... and do you choose "summer" settings, like Cape Cod or Nantucket, just for "summer" reading?