Is it wrong that I'm giddy about today's post? Why, you ask? Because this week's question from the incomparable Brenda Margriet has posed a question that I adore: How do you choose the setting for your book? Does where you live inspire you?
Does it? Ha. If this is your first time time my blog you won't know this, but I set all of my books in Newfoundland, which is where I live. I don't do this simply because it's a place I'm familiar with. I do it because I believe Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the most romantic places on Earth. I do it because I want the world to know what about a half a million of us know: That there's something different and magical and inspiring about this wind-swept coastline of ours. To say I'm a proud Newfoundlander is sort of like saying Richard Simmons likes tight shorts. I think both of our feelings go much deeper.
But let's really dig into the why. Here are some essential things to know about this place. I'll start with a map so you know what I'm talking about.
Newfoundland is that awesomely shaped island with a lot of black on it. Labrador, which is also part of our province, is the other awesomely shaped land to the north, also black. This black means that it is very sparsely populated. So the first thing you learn is that Newfoundland is big (about the size of California), and we have hardly any people here. (Our official population for the entire province, including Labrador is 500,000.) You can see that most of the people live on the coast, and the majority of those live all the way over on the east coast, near St. John's, which is our capital city. I grew up in St. John's. I now live about a half hour away.
This means that we have a lot of undeveloped land, a lot of coastline, a lot of woods (which means a lot of wildlife) and a lot of room for the imagination. If you read Hard As Ice, there's a scene where Daphne and Jack drive from the west coast to the east coast. It takes them about 10 hours. It's a long drive from one end to the other. I loved writing that scene because it was a fun way to show distance here. Plus, they had some great dialogue. Let me share a snippet.
Another scene that came from real life for me was in Against Her Rules. There's a part of the book where Elsie has taken Cam out in a boat onto the ocean so that he can sketch some seabirds.Here's what she does.
This happens. It's happened to me. Quite often I go out fishing for cod with my Dad. On our way in from fishing, he'll start to clean the fist, tossing the offal into the water. Here's a photo of how the birds react to this disgusting buffet.
I could go on forever about this place and how it inspires me. But I'd like for you to go visit all the other authors who are taking part in today's blog hop, so I'll stop here. Elizabeth Janette is next. I'm not sure where she's from, so let's go together and find out how she answered these questions!