Today I'd like to welcome LK Hunsaker as a guest on my blog, courtesy of Classic Romance Revival. Although her books can be classed under many headings LK refers to them as reality fiction.
Welcome LK, and thank you for visiting my blog and providing such interesting information on Traveling Fiction Places In Story.
Hi Sue! Thanks for hosting me here today!
I was perusing your blog the other day and noticed you and your husband have done a lot of traveling. My husband and I also like to travel as much as we can. Such a great experience, with a wealth of information to be gained. Since I use a lot of my own journeys and explorations within my stories, I thought I’d talk a bit today about Traveling Fiction: Places In Story.
Setting can be only a place where a story happens or it can be a character in itself. I have done some of both within my novels. Always, though, the setting should have some kind of effect on characters. We are, after all, products partially of our environments. Our society determines many of our thoughts and attitudes. If we grow up in the midst of a huge city, we will have a different outlook than if we grow up in the midst of cornfields.
So how do we choose where our characters will be set? Sometimes the story plot tells us. For instance, if I’m writing a Civil War novel and want the main character to be a Union soldier, I need to have it set in a northern state, or at least have his home state mentioned and affecting his attitudes. Other times, we use places that interest us or places we’ve been.
I grew up in central
in the midst of cornfields, but I had relatives who lived in Illinois . We didn’t get to go visit often, as it took nearly three hours of driving each way, but when we did I couldn’t get enough of checking out the skyscrapers, first from a distance and then from along the city streets. I also had a huge fascination with Chicago Lakeshore Drive and turned in my seat to keep my eyes peeled on the boats along the shore and out on the lake. I’m still fascinated by , although I wouldn’t choose to live there because of its size. I used that feeling of awe, however, when I wrote my first novel, Finishing Touches. Set mainly in Chicago , and a small unnamed town outside Peoria where Jenna grew up, it often jumps into Peoria . The city becomes a character in the way it pulls Jenna’s spirit and encourages her to stretch her wings, leave the past behind, and grow. Of course being from the Chicago area gave me plenty of detail to use within the story. It also helped me know Jenna’s character from her home roots. Peoria
When I first started writing the Rehearsal series, I knew it had to be set elsewhere. The story revolves around a rock band struggling to make their way in the business and so they had to be closer to the music scene. I didn’t want them in
or New York , but slightly off that too-well-beaten fictional path. By this time, I had moved four times and one of the places I’d lived was Los Angeles . I fell in absolute love with it while there and decided that was close enough to the music scene. I put them just outside Massachusetts , about a half hour west. None of my featured characters, however, are from there. They are all outsiders with different backgrounds merging in a fictional town in the midst of actual towns mentioned in the story. Two of the main characters are from Boston . Why? During family travels I fell in love with the state. It was only after the first book of the series was published that we decided to move to PA. Another main character is from Pennsylvania , for the simple reason that I needed him to be a foreigner and I had always wanted to visit the country. Book two of the series is partially set in Scotland and was published just after my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Edinburgh . Again, first-hand detail helped make the scenes more vivid. Since my fictional band tours, you’ll also pick up bits and pieces of other places I’ve lived and visited. My guess is that you’ll know from the description which I have. Scotland
Off The Moon is set half in
, because this one needed the beaten path for my character, and half in New York City , with visits to Bennington, Vermont and London . I have been to NYC, briefly, and again, I made mental note of enough detail to add a reality I couldn’t get with only research. I haven’t yet been to Montana . The distance of it worked well for the story, plus I needed a large lake and small town atmosphere. Ryan barely knows Vermont himself, since he grew up a military brat and his family settled there just before he took off on his own. My own lack of real detail meshes with his. There should be a noticeable difference in the way he describes NYC and the way he describes Bennington . Since everything in the story comes from his own deep point of view and the reader knows nothing he doesn’t know, the haziness works well. I do have plans to visit, though. Researching places for my novels always makes me want to go see them. Bennington
I have a true travel bug. Luckily, I get to take my readers along for the ride. Next stop:
, Idaho area. Twin Falls
P.S. Photo albums on my website feature places from my novels.
Questions or insights? Leave them in the comments and I’ll get back with you! All who comment on this blog have a chance to win a so-far-unpublished short story related to Off The Moon. It will be printed, signed, and mailed at the end of the month so be sure your blog host can contact you. If you comment on at least eight of my blogs from the tour this month, you’re eligible to win a signed print copy of Off The Moon when it’s released.
Also, be sure to check my blog this month for Off The Moon related interviews. [http://lkhunsaker.blogspot.com]
Find my website for more info, plus a free download of the beginnings of each of my novels:
Off The Moon
"Riveting" Ryan Reynauld is immersed in a world of music, parties, and temporary companionship. Having risen to the top of the pop charts, his biggest concern is objecting to the way his music is produced. That is, until he finds a young woman standing on a window ledge. Against the advice of family and friends, and through media attacks and fan protests, Ryan determines to care for her himself, making a promise that threatens to destroy his career.
Convincing the skittish girl she can learn to trust again comes with a steep price. Sometimes the path to recovery begins by allowing your world to implode.
Print ISBN 978-0-9825299-0-4
Ebook ISBN 978-0-9825299-1-1
Thanks again, Sue!
Next up: An Interview with Will Reynauld (Ryan’s brother), hosted by Linda Banche Nov. 7
For a full itinerary of this blog tour visit http://www.classicromancerevival.com
Don't forget to leave your comments on Sue's blog! One person from each blog will be drawn to receive a signed, mailed copy of the short story LK has written as a bit of a prequel to Off The Moon, called Toward The Sky, plus there will be a signed print book drawing for anyone who comments on at least 8 blogs!