Congratulations to Alison (agboss) who won Susanne Dietze's The Reluctant Guardian!

Friday, January 27, 2017

Story Setting. Worth the Price Twice Over

Peeking out onto the Royal Mile.
I'm currently working on a mystery! It will be my first novel-length story and will be out some time this summer. As if that's not enough, I made the very wise decision to set it in Edinburgh, Scotland. Wise, because there's nothing like a real life visit, feet-on-the-cobbles, haggis-in-the-belly trip to where a story is set. The seeds of the story started last summer with a completely different setting. What a shame, I thought. I've made this crazy decision to go to Scotland but my next story is set in Massachusetts. 
Duh. It wasn't set it stone.
I switched.

The Writers Museum
For every story I write, I like to 1.) visit in person or 2.) obsessively dig up every type of map and resource I can find. This isn't easy with historical fiction.  Why work so hard? Because breathing in the same air and seeing their same views sure helps place an author in the characters' heads. Don't you love when an author plops you down in their setting? Details do that.

The Grassmarket. Guess what's up on the top of castle rock in the distance? ... The Castle
With a few tweaks to the plot, my original story idea moved easily across the pond. I think it made for a  richer story. I mean, really. Edinburgh. Scotland.

You'll hear more about this over the next year. My trip to Scotland had one priority. Soak "it" up. Soak up the vistas, the sounds, smells, culture and meet the people. Now, each step my heroine makes takes me back to a street, a shop, a cafe, the bus, the tram... right down to the view out the window of her bedroom. And... it took me to the scene of the crime...

The view out a window in the Archaeology Dept. at University of Edinburgh. 
I'm pretty sure more stories will benefit from this trip.  I spent years working on a series set in 1830s Glasgow. I practically broke my face smiling when I saw The Tollbooth, and Glasgow Cross after 'walking by' in my imagination all these years!

The view down onto the Cowgate from George Fourth Bridge

With every word and scene, I get to visit once again!

What setting in fiction is a sure-fire draw for you?  Tweet this!

What about The Grand Canyon? I'd love to give away a copy of the Valentine Matchmakers Collection from Forget Me Not Publishing. Nine novellas, including both contemporaries and historicals, and each one a sweet romance. WHY NOT is set in 1914 when Grand Canyon Village was mostly a tent camp and a couple of fancy hotels.
This is an ebook collection only. Please comment if you'd like to be in the drawing (which ends Feb 3) Also, visit the Inkwell again on Feb 13 for our Valentine Matchmakers (Sort of ) Release Party. More prizes. Cute virtual waiters and chocolate on the keyboard.

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Come back on Feb 13th for my Valentine Matchmaker Collection Release Party with Niki Turner, and a chance for a quilted table runner and book giveaways!


  1. Sigh. I could sure go for a piece of millionaire shortbread right now...

  2. Oooooh, what gorgeous pictures! You make me want to go back!

    I didn't know you were writing mystery? That's SO COOL! Can't wait to read. :D

    1. woo hoo! I'm excited about it, and can't wait to share more about it later this year! Thanks DeAnna!

  3. Great decision, Deb! Will be praying for your writing as you use the info and feelings you found on your trip. Wish I had gone with you. Will dream of accompanying you on your next venture if you decide you need a refresher. :)

    Sorry about delay in commenting. I seem to be 2 days late for everything this year. :o