Novel Settings

At the moment, I am plotting a book. If you’ve read my books, you know I don’t get excited about the typical setting for historical romance, the London ballroom. I love the lesser known places, the slightly wild and occasionally remote–Durham, Northumberland, the Lake District, Yorkshire, the northern coast of Maine. That’s where my heart lies.

The first book in my new series is set in the 1850s in Kendal, Cumbria, the southernmost gateway to what is now Lake District National Park.

Kendal Castle, which I visited in October. (HSG’s very own Nina Croft used to play in these ruins when she was a child.)

So when plotting the second book, it’s been fun to peruse maps and the web for an even wilder and more remote spot, isolated, in a crumbling castle within which is hidden treasure beyond price. These are my contenders:

The Isle of Skye (off the west coast of Scotland):

Isle of Skye. By John Allan [CC BY-SA 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

An as-yet-undetermined location near Hadrian’s Wall:

Hadrian’s Wall between Housesteads and Once Brewed (fabulous name!). By Michael Hanselmann (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 County Powys, Wales:

Looking through one of the remaining walls of Castell Dinas Brân towards the north east. Source: Wikipedia.

Lundy Island, off the coast of Devon:

Four Celtic inscribed stones from Beacon Hill cemetery, Lundy. By Grantus4504 [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, from Wikimedia Commons.

The Yorkshire Dales:

Swaledale. By Kreuzschnabel (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0, GFDL or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons.

I might come up with something entirely different in the end–it’s often more fun (and okay, easier) to look for settings than to actually write the book. 🙂

Writers: how do you come up with your settings?

Readers: What kinds of settings do you like the most? Civilized cities, or natural places? Glittery ballrooms or spooky castles?

And which one do you think I should choose? I’ll give away an ecopy of one of my books–your choice–to a randomly selected commenter!

 

About Marin McGinnis

About Marin McGinnis Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. When she’s not chasing after big dogs or watching tweens skate around hockey rinks, she is immersing herself in Victorian era romance. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Once is Never Enough

School. Ack! I remember being so excited to graduate because it meant no more school! I would be an adult and could make my own way. And that way certainly didn’t include any more school. Riiiiggght. We all know the many myths of adulthood and being finished with school is one of them. But it’s okay.

Young Girl Does Her Math HomeworkAs I’ve grown one of the things I’ve come to realize is just how much I don’t know. Ahh, I miss the days when I knew everything. It took a while before I could say it out loud, but I love learning. I really do. If my finances were to ever permit it, I’d probably be a professional student the rest of my life. Since I don’t see that in the near future, I depend a lot on technology to provide access to things I need to learn. Do you ever find yourself doing this?

If I want to do something different with one of the many programs on my computer the first place I go is usually YouTube. It can be Excel, Illustrator or anything in between. It amazes me how many people are willing to share their knowledge. I love it! If it involves writing, its online courses like those from RWA or SavvyAuthors. I really enjoy the courses at Lynda as well. Video has made it so I can watch them as many times as I need to understand the point, or reach whatever goal I’ve set for myself. Gone are the days when you get to see something once and if you don’t get it, too bad. I don’t miss them.

I love attending classes, but I find I can teach myself just as easily if the material is provided. What about you? Do you prefer a classroom setting, or does learning on the fly work for you?

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

Where’s your writing spot?

DSC_0149.JPGStop!

Take a deep breath.

Do you smell the air? The scent of flowers teasing your nose or maybe the aroma of barbeque floating from the nearby street stands?

Do you hear the sounds of the rolling waves? Or the toot of the ship docking by the pier?

DSC00772How about the stillness of mountains? Or do you feel the texture of sand between your toes?

Now reach for that drink…and open your eyes.

It’s amazing where your imagination may take you but wouldn’t the real thing be so much better?

I’ve traveled so much in the past few years and find that different places have sparked different ideas for my writing. No matter where I go, my imagination always brings me back to Hawaii–to the white beaches, blue waters, sweet smell of ocean air, and corn grilling on stands on the side of the road.

Depending on my mood, I always find that I write best when I can relax and push all my everyday life worries out of my mind. Yes, it may take a lot of wine for that to happen, but Hawaii has always given me that freedom to let my muse run buck wild.

I love sitting on the beach with my notebook and spending the afternoon plotting or lounging on my back porch with my laptop while I watch the sunset. Sometimes I used to walk the golf course in my backyard and count the exotic birds that would stop by or fly above my head while I’m outlining my stories in my mind (Of course, I’m running away the minute I know they see me…).

DSC01047I miss the days of peace and quiet, of being able to take the time for myself. Whether or not I’m still in Hawaii, my mind always brings me back to where I’ve found the most joy and peace.

So go on that trip you’ve always wanted to and venture to wherever your heart brings you. Experience it. Say it’s research.

Find your writing spot. Where do you envision it to be? Where do you most want to go?

Mine would have hot men climbing trees down the street…

DSC00750

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

Welcome to a month of exotic locations and out of this world settings!

ws_Red_Surf_Board_1600x1200From sandy beaches to ski slopes or out of this world trips to the future, the month of August will find the ladies of Heart-Shaped Glasses thinking about exotic locations.

We hope you’ll stop by often to journey around the globe and the universe with us this month as we explore vacation destinations, settings in our novels or places we only wish we could visit!

And this month one winner will be chosen at random from all the comments to win a free digital download of their choice of a title from the new TEASE line at Decadent publishing – a big thank you to Clarissa Yip for donating the give away this month!

This month we’ll have guest blogs by Gina Conkle on August 15th and Robin Bielman will be stopping by on the 30th!

We’re looking forward to a fun month around here…how about you?

 

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.