Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Oh, the Places We’ll Go

by Barbara Plum

[Barbara Plum's Silicon Valley series sucked me into the struggles of a dysfunctional family, the secrets that derailed them, and the courage that offered redemption—but not without cost. And of course, a few murders. It's my pleasure to introduce her to the Stiletto Gang readership. ~ Marjorie Brody]

Reading has introduced me to places real—and fictionalized—all over the globe. After locale, weather, time of year, time of day, geography, and flow of time ground me, the writer, in more subtle elements of setting. Mining mood and atmosphere, IMO, plays into the psyche of most of us. Storms and “witching” hours and holidays always figure in my stories. “A dark and stormy night” is a cliché, but for most of us, the underlying idea resonates.

Murder and romance, heartbreak and terror occur in every geographical location imaginable. So when the plot of a new novel hounds me to get the twists and turns on the page, I also consider where the story takes place. Two of my favorite sites are Kansas City (MO) and Silicon Valley (CA). MO because it’s a different world from Kansas City, KS. CA because now at least a dozen “next Silicon Valley cities” are emerging worldwide.

Life in Silicon Valley’s fast lane provides the perfect back drop for stories about ambitious, ego-driven workaholics who often sacrifice their families to get ahead. In my first romantic comedy novel, PRINCE OF FROGS, a driven widower tries to smother grief with work and puts his daughter’s health at risk. A single, tough-love pediatrician, about to adopt triplets, challenges him on his priorities. The fun escalates when their two worlds collide.

In my soon-to-be published psychological suspense novel, THE EXPENDABLE WIFE, an ambitious, narcissistic CEO exerts psychological and physical control to intimidate his wife, kids, and anyone he thinks could damage his reputation. “Eyes are everywhere.”

Returning to Kansas City, I set PRESUME GUILTY and UNRAVLED, my romantic suspense novels in the heartland of America. Why? Because both books have some pretty hot scenes that I hope surprise readers who may think the heartland is too laid back for murder and mayhem.

What about you? What’s the most exotic setting for a favorite book?

I love hearing from readers. Send me your thoughts on setting at https://www.facebook.com/A-B-Plum-1071707309557417/?fref=ts , and I’ll send you a map of the Silicon Valley locations I write about in my soon-to-be release of THE EXPENDABLE WIFE.

E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” Barbara Plum aka Allie Hawkins aka A.B. Plum takes Doctorow’s words seriously. She is a: Reader (from the womb according to her mother), Walker (five miles most days), Dancer (aerobic, but Zumba no more), Traveler (AK, MO, KS, FL, NC, CA, Europe, SA, the Caribbean), Writer (awake and asleep, always chasing stories). A.B. Plum lives just off the fast lane in the shadow of Google with her husband. Writing gives her a license to kill. Writing opens doorways to all kinds of adventures she can enjoy vicariously. A few adventures she plans never to engage in personally: skydiving, skiing downhill backwards and/or blindfolded, swimming with alligators, singing in the shower—or in public, kissing a snake. But walking, dancing, reading, traveling, and cooking sometimes end up in her psychological suspense novels since she enjoys all those diversions—when not writing about murder and mayhem.

1 comment:

  1. My most exotic setting is in the book I'm writing now, in the mountains of eastern Europe.It's fashioned after real areas, but it's fictional. I've had lots of things to research about that area to make the setting real, and it's been pretty fun. Setting is so important in a story. Many new writers I think don't understand that.