What prompted you to use the setting and time period for your latest book or series?
by Meredith Cole
For an author, picking a time and place for a story or book is a really important decision to make. Where and when matters a lot. It effects the story (what can happen), the characters, the language, the atmosphere... And just about everything. So--no pressure, huh?
How did I choose Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 1990's for my books POSED FOR MURDER and DEAD IN THE WATER? Easy peasey. I lived there. I knew it. It was colorful and interesting. And there were so many different ethnic groups, artists, developers, etc., all jockeying for space and resources that the place was ripe for a murder (or two or three...).
And what about a midwestern setting in 1951 for my book (not yet out) called THE HOLD UP? Um, not so simple. It developed slowly and painfully and required a lot of research. I didn't know the place and time. I just felt like it was right, so I plowed on through the painful research process and told myself it would all end up okay... And I hope it did.
In most of my stories, I tend to pick a place I've lived or been enough to feel comfortable there. And I usually set them in modern times for the same reasons. It's really just easier that way, and I hate to get bogged down in research and never get started on writing the actual book or story.
Happily for me, I've lived in lots of places and traveled a bit. I could write about Virginia, DC, New York, Paris, Massachusetts or Pittsburgh. But also after going through the research process on one book, I feel more confident that I could do it again with another. So--the sky is the limit! Pick a time and a place and I'll meet you there...