Thursday, March 7, 2013

Location. Location. Location.


Giveaway alert!

The secret success of any business is location, location, location. We've heard. Had it drilled into us. But what does that have to do with writing or reading books. And more specifically romantic suspense? Many authors prefer to invent their town names and locales. I have more fun utilizing actual Texas terrain, highways and town descriptions. It helps me write the story to take pictures and use them on my screen savers. The story is much more vivid for me and easier to write.

No matter if it's an actual or imaginary setting, the best location for the story is an important element. For instance, I sold my May release, PROTECTING THEIR CHILD in late March 2012. When I wrote the synopsis for Cord & Kate's story, it was based on drive-through memories of West Texas. I hadn't decided what town it should be near. Yes, I'm admitting that out loud. Over a long weekend, Tim and I drove to the Davis Mountains and I began seeing the story unfold. Awesome. We went on a hike and there was more of the story. Little things like cactus and brush. Major things like no cell coverage and a lack of roads--which play a major part in "chase" books. And how far away from major towns and hospitals became eye openers and inspired several new stories for the area.

I returned home and PTC just flew from my fingertips. When I was almost done, I checked the synopsis and wow, I'd taken a totally different direction. Both figuratively and literally--over the mountains instead of around. Fortunately, visiting the location made it a better direction that my editor loved. LOL 

Visiting a location is essential for me. It's part of my writing process. I've always believed that the scene plays a major part in the plot. I once read a story about north Dallas and the car pulling off the freeway into an oak grove. Really? In North Dallas which is all strip malls and business? Nope, no oak groves… Totally ruined the story for me. I strive not to make that mistake. I'm so glad I have a husband that doesn't mind road trips.  (big grin)
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Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi is a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.
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FIND ANGI
Website   Facebook   FB Fan Page   Twitter @AngiMorganAuthr
A Picture A Day   Goodreads  Book Trailers on YouTube
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LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT. Angi will draw from blog commenters for an advanced copy of PROTECTING THEIR CHILD (she'll need your email addy--which you can always send to her directly).  AND ENTER ANGI'S March contest for a book from Angi.  Register at Rafflecopter through March 31st, winner announced April 2nd.
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Have you ever been put off by the scenery in a story? Found that if the author got something wrong, then the rest of the book was harder to believe?   

a Rafflecopter giveaway

20 comments:

  1. I have driven through Northern Texas with my brother on a road trip. That northern part of Texas is barren. The towns are so far apart. One of the thing I do remember about Texas is that there are so many steak eating contests. Thanks for the interview about locations and the giveaway.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Hi Kai, I think you're talking about the Texas Panhandle. Actually, we refer to the Dallas/Fort Worth area as North Texas...which isn't barren at all.

      The STEAK EATING contests... one of the most well-known in the Amarillo area is THE BIG TEXAN at 72 ounces (http://www.bigtexan.com/buffets.html ). If you eat it all, it's free.
      ~Angi

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  2. Ooooh - wonderful pictures on your blog and Valentine is such a cutie - great name too!

    And your bookmark caper! Hahahahahaha :D

    And yes, I can definitely be put off by poorly researched locations. willa (at) talktalk (dot) net

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    1. Hello Willa. Nice to meet you here at JRS. I love taking pictures, so the blog featuring them seemed like a natural fit. Poor little Valentine's come home from the shelter with pneumonia. And let me tell you...SHE HATES chewing or swallowing pills and I have the tiny teeth marks to prove it. LOL We're hoping she'll be better by Monday.

      ~Angi
      (thinking about another bookmark caper soon)

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    2. Wrap/mold pills in a little bit of cheese - worked for my dog! Snuggles for Valentine ♥

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    3. Thanks for the suggestion, Willa. This dog has refused to eat peanut butter where the pill was crushed, I wrap in cheese or chicken--she eats the good part and spits out the pill. She'll hold it, half-way dissolves the pill under her tongue, then spits it out. And she has to take 5 pills, twice a day. It really is a struggle.

      Our little Dallas was on phenobarbital twice a day and when the alarm went off, she would sit and wait for her pill. Swallowed it whole, not a problem and began at this same age.

      Different personalities...that's for certain.

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    4. Awwww - you have a crafty dog! ♥ Bless her!

      Good luck with the meds - it must be hard.

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  3. You made some very good points about location. It is definitely an important part of getting lost in the story and readers appreciate the effort an author makes to get it right.
    Love your Intrigues!
    grandmabkr at yahoo dot com

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    1. THANK YOU so much Brenda !
      I can't wait for you to read Protecting Their Child and hope you get lost in the Davis Mountains.
      ~Angi

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  4. I love seeing the locations through the eyes of the characters... I pay more attention to the flow of the story over whether locations and facts are correct. Has certain things bugged me, because I knew they were wrong, yes... but I still look at the book as a whole. :)

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    1. That's very nice of you Colleen. Let me ask this, when does it seem out sinc for a character to notice their surroundings? Honestly, I read this and in a lot of stories it seems out of place, with no reason to describe where they are.
      ~Angi

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  5. No, I haven't been put off by the scenery in a story.
    olga_sergejeva(at) hotmail.co.uk

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    1. You're very lucky and have a gift for suspending your disbelief.
      ~Angi

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  6. No, I haven't.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Another lucky reader who can suspend their disbelief.
      ~Angi

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  7. Thanks for the great post and congrats to Angi on the new release! Scenery usually doesn't bother me and unless it's set in the city I live in, I wouldn't know if things were "wrong". I'm more for story so if I get lost in that, the rest is just.... "scenery" :)

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    1. Great way to think, Erin. A great story's a great story...and the rest is scenery!
      ~Angi

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  9. WILLA, RANDOM.ORG selected your comment number as the winner of PROTECTING THEIR CHILD.

    Thanks to everyone who dropped by.
    ~Angi

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  10. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Thankyou ☺

    ReplyDelete