Monday, April 7, 2014

Real world or imaginary places?

One of my author loops started talking about setting the other day. Did people use real places in their stories, or made up ones? The answered varied from one extreme to another.

Some people were like me. They used real, made up places.

Confused? Let me give you an example.

In the Bull Rider series, the first book is set in fictional Shawnee. A town with as many churches as bars. Nestled in between two mountains, the town follows the river as it meanders through town. The rodeo grounds are set outside town, next to a grassy hill where observers can bring their own picnic dinner and blankets and watch the festivities in style. The descriptions mirror a real little town known for it’s easy access to salmon fishing and a rodeo weekend, Riggins, Idaho.

So the book is set with a mix of the real and the made up.

Later books in that series are set in my old stomping grounds, the Boise, Idaho area. Real town with a little fiction magic, and a book is born.

My novella, Temporary Roommates, is based on a neighborhood in St. Louis close to Forest Park. Real place, made up apartment building.

Finally, South Cove, my setting for The Tourist Trap Mysteries, is set on the central California coast. Readers may think they can guess the town South Cove is representing, but that series was all based on one old house. 

What about you? Do you like real settings? Or are you happy with a fictional world?

Guidebook to Murder releases April 17th

In the gentle coastal town of South Cove, California, all Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store--Coffee, Books, and More--open and running. So why is she caught up in the business of murder?
When Jill's elderly friend, Miss Emily, calls in a fit of pique, she already knows the city council is trying to force Emily to sell her dilapidated old house. But Emily's gumption goes for naught when she dies unexpectedly and leaves the house to Jill--along with all of her problems. . .and her enemies. Convinced her friend was murdered, Jill is finding the list of suspects longer than the list of repairs needed on the house. But Jill is determined to uncover the culprit--especially if it gets her closer to South Cove's finest, Detective Greg King. Problem is, the killer knows she's on the case--and is determined to close the book on Jill permanently. . .

Lynn Cahoon’s a multi-published author. An Idaho native, her stories focus around the depth and experience of small town life and love. Lynn’s published in Chicken Soup anthologies, explored controversial stories for the confessional magazines, short stories in Women’s World, and contemporary romantic fiction. Currently, she’s living in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. She lives with her husband and four fur babies.

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