October 15, 2012

On Writing - Settings

by MJ Fredrick

I admit, I’ve bought books before simply based on setting. When I first started reading romance, it was Ireland—ANYTHING set in Ireland. I expanded to England, then Scotland, before venturing to the United States and gobbling up Civil War romances, then moving to the present day.
What I discovered about myself is that I choose to read certain settings based on what I was interested in at the time.

For awhile it was archaeology, thanks to the Mummy movies. There are not many of those, BTW.
For awhile it was California-set romances, thanks to the Virgin River books.

Then Hawaii-set books because of my crush on Alex O’Loughlin in Hawaii 5-0.
My son’s girlfriend recently moved to Alaska, so I have been reading some of those.

Lately, it’s western historicals thanks to Hell on Wheels and the re-showing of Into the West. (I have one episode saved because I want to write a wagon train story now.
That happens when I write, too.

My historical Sunrise Over Texas was written when I was teaching Texas history, about Jane Long, the “Mother of Texas.” I’d taught that lesson in previous years, but that year something clicked!

My hot shot firefighter story, Hot Shot, was written when the Colorado fires were so bad in 2000.

Midnight Sun is set in Antarctica because of a show on the travel channel I saw about cruises that take people to see the 7th continent.
My series Welcome to Bluestone was written when I was visiting Minnesota, which is harder hit by the recession than my home state of Texas. We drove past a town struggling to stay afloat, and the series was born.

What about you? Does setting influence your choices when it comes to buying books? Are there any settings you DON’T care to read?
MJ Fredrickhttp://mjfredrick.com
Bluestone Homecoming
Guarded Hearts from Lyrical Press

1 comment:

Hywela Lyn said...

I too love historical Westerns and for me whether as a writer, or reader, settings are very important.

I notice you mention Ireland, Scotland and England but not my beloved native Wales! Wales has a wealth of beautiful and largely unspoilt landscapes, and is steeped in myth and legend. I used 5th century Wales as the setting for my novella 'Dancing With Fate'. If you travel to the UK, don't forget Wales, especially mid and north Wales. The furhter north you go, the wilder it gets!