By AB Plum
When writing a novel, time and place matter. They anchor, at the simplest level, the story setting. Characters don't exist in a vacuum so I like putting them in a place, at a time, when they have to make choices.
The Early Years, Book 1 in The MisFit Series gives the month, the city, and the specific location in the city. The narrator makes a choice to commit murder. He pinpoints at the micro level a horrific train accident and its relationship to him. The train station, the frigid cold, the crowds—all symbolize the trajectory of the narrator's future.
All this setting gets settled in less than a page.
When I wrote the Danish descriptions, I did so from memory and with a few details from my husband, born in Copenhagen. All the while I wrote the MisFit Series, we discussed how much fun we'd have going back and staying for more than three weeks.
So, this summer, we'll leave Silicon Valley and stay in a Copenhagen apartment near where my husband lived as a little boy. (Go figure that my WIP is the Ryn Davis Mystery Series set in the shadow of Google. Who knows? Ryn may meet a Dane in one of the upcoming mysteries).
My plan is to absorb more than the kringles, polse, plaice, and rødgrød med fløde (flaky almond-stuffed pastry, hot dogs, flounder, and raspberry/strawberry porridge with thick cream). I hope to return to the US speaking en smule dansk (a little Danish). I plan to visit all the tourist spots and those out-of-way cultural and historical landmarks known only to Danish citizens. With lots of family there, I think we'll experience this setting more deeply than we now can only imagine.
I'll write my July blog from Denmark. My plan is to write about the main train station (Københavns Hovedbanegård). This setting is the scene referenced above in The Early Years. This setting lays the groundwork to delve into a psychopath's dark mind.
AB Plum lives with her husband and alter ego, Barbara Plum off the beaten path but writes in Silicon Valley—a setting unto itself. She tries to capture the nuances of the place in her new Ryn Davis Mystery Series.