Monday, October 18, 2010
That is what I know about Raleigh, NC. I could name a few individual projects popping up around the Triangle, as the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is called, but I can't tell you what brings people together here. I have been to the Ballet, the convention center, various art galleries, the state zoo, etc. I have worked in a news station that covered the entire state, and not seen a recognizable, cohesive thread. Bottom line: I don't get Raleigh yet. One day I might. But for now, I would be doing an injustice to this area by placing my work here.
Is it easier to write about a place you love? Yes. Is that always the right choice? No. A good writer should be able to turn any setting into the backdrop for their work into the perfect setting for that work. A village set in the New England countryside could be turned mysterious and rife with bitter temperaments for a psychological thriller. A colorful, trendy, party-hopping city such as Miami could be candlelit and filled with lovers for a steamy romance. A good writer can write what they need.
I choose to write mysteries. I choose to create my characters from nothing and keep the setting as true to life as possible. I am not someone who wants to make up my own town--though someday I might. I think the diversity that is Nashville is a perfect background for good detective fiction.
For more facts on Nashville, see these past posts: Athena, Deeper Darker Nashville, The Book and The City.
There is also a definite freedom to writing books set in the U.S. Those of us who live here don't think about it very often. In fact, we take a lot of the rights we have for granted. But, especially in contrast to the Leighton Gage book I am currently reading (Gage will be here Thursday to talk about writing books set in Brazil), the freedom of movement we can give our characters is unique. The rights our criminals and wrongly accused have give writers lots of leeway. And the size and wealth of the country means we can have a character skiing in Colorado in one scene, carousing in New York City in another, and lying on the beach in Miami later on. Feasible in a work of fiction? Depends on the book and how much you want your readers to suspend their disbelief. But the U.S. allows for this seemingly fictitious jaunts.
What does your country and/or city give to your book that is unique?
Tomorrow, we travel to Winterland with Cold As Heaven--sound fantastic? I'm excited!
Posted by Michele Emrath at 10:41 AM