Sometimes the setting for a book is immaterial to the story. In other instances it can be as important as one of the characters. If we had a hero and heroine stranded on a desert island, for instance, the island itself would be of immense importance. Did it have vegetation? Did it have shelter? Did it have a source of fresh rainwater? How would they survive otherwise?
In my book, Rachel’s Retribution, my heroine is whisked away to an old, isolated cottage in the English Lake District, with very little in the way of mod cons. Therefore the cottage itself and the wild, isolated countryside around it, plays a vital part.
The cottage sat alone on the edge of a bleak moor. It was tiny and plain and looked unloved. It was as foreboding inside as it was out. Surprisingly it had electricity and a very basic cooker but that was all. No fridge, no television, no home comforts of any kind.
In Sea Gypsy my heroine manages to persuade a lone yachtsman to take her on as crew on one of his trips. Something she quickly regrets. And with no escape from him…
The setting for Trapped is the British Waterways - the canals - where my heroine lives on a narrow boat. Hero is planning to build a marina and convert warehouses into a restaurant-cum-nightclub and is trying to move her on. Everyone else has gone – but she is determined not to move, even though he says she can come back when it is finished.
I know the reader is seeking escapism and perhaps expects glamorous locations. I like them myself. I like to read about them. But just occasionally, especially if it’s a situation where both are caught in each other’s company, then background doesn’t really matter. It’s the relationship that is of prime importance.