Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An image of my Italian island - Santa Caterina


I love to use a variety of settings. Recently I have really been into Florida. I love Florida; I like the heat and lushness. It is so different from anywhere I have been before. The wildlife is fabulous and there is an atmosphere that is so appealing to me.

Australia and New Zealand are countries I have used for two novels. It was always, from being a little kid, an ambition to go out to the Antipodes, it took me 59 tears to do so, and I was so blown away that I had to set two novels there. I have hope of more.

Europe I am familiar with. I love to write about Italy and Spain but I have never been to the latter. Like Ana I use guidebooks and read as much as I can about the culture of the country. Sometimes I think that if I went to Spain I might be disappointed. Another place I like is Belgium but I have never used this compact country and I wonder why not, when you see the wonder that is Bruges it just calls out to be used as a setting. France I know well too but although my heroine in Eden’s Child visits Provence, I have never used France as a main setting. It will come… it has to do.

I wanted to set Shadows of the Past on an island in Italy. Since it was “owned” by the hero, it had to be a made up place. I used aspects of Elba but it was not Elba. If you have a place in mind it helps you to paint a picture.

Settings can be fun and so enjoyable. I love to write about the West Country – I know it well – I have used in part Wales too. These places are in my heart so I think that helps enormously.


  1. Hi,

    Oooh, love the cover. Instant feel for the place!

    How funny you set it on fictional island yet based elements of it on Elba. John Fowles fictional island Phraxos (The Magus)was based on a nearby Greek island, the description so good you knew which one had inspired the story.

    Ha ha West Country: I'm a West Country girl living in Wales! Nothing like writing about heartlands.


  2. So the question becomes how to take real places and create a believable fictious setting.
    Any pointers?

  3. Margaret, agree that Bruges cries out to be used, it's a beautiful little city.

    Ana, in answer to your question, in Fragrance of Violets, I used a 'real' Lakeland village that I know well, gave it a different name, and 'moved' it to another valley!

  4. Margaret,

    I LOVE the cover. It's gorgeous...

    It sounds like you've used some rather "exotic" settings. I'm jealous...mine are usually based right at home.