Read Around the Rainbow: Do you set your stories where you live?

This is such an intriguing topic for this month’s Read Around the Rainbow blog, suggested by the lovely Fiona Glass. As we are a far-flung group geographically stretching over Europe and across the Atlantic, I’m so looking forward to reading about familiar and unfamiliar places!

I have to say I do tend to set my stories in familiar areas. Although I’m not English, many of my stories are spread across the West Country of England, where I spent my school and post-university years. As I write historical stories, I tend to have a map to hand from the specific era I’m writing about, from a book or online but it really helps creatively to be able to picture my characters in specific locations, walking down streets I know so well that I can see them in my mind.

So it’s not surprising that the counties of Wiltshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Somerset all feature in my stories, including the towns of Marlborough and Cheltenham and the cities of Bristol and Bath. As a perk, I always enjoy discovering how these places appeared in certain centuries and finding out when certain areas and streets were built. I learn more while researching a place than I did when I lived there!

Also, I have quite a few stories set in London (as a capital city, it’s always a favourite amongst contemporary and historical authors). I thoroughly enjoyed researching the city limits of Elizabethan London for two of my romances, from the grandeur of Bishopsgate to the stews of Southwark. But it’s always a pleasure to write about the select world of Regency London, which I’ve described in several stories including my upcoming July release, Twelve Letters.

Although it was fashionable both then and now, I’m not that familiar with the exclusive residential district of Mayfair – far too posh for the likes of me! But I always try to include other areas and streets I know well. So I can imagine my main character Jo dashing across Piccadilly to save his best friend Ben from fighting a duel, or strolling through the streets of Soho with Daniel, his budding love interest, or popping into the Golden Lion on King Street in St. James’  for a hearty breakfast. If memory serves me right, that’s a little gem of a pub where I’ve enjoyed several reasonably priced lunchtime meals!

As always, I can’t wait to read all the blogs and learn about everyone else’s hometowns!

My post will be linked on the last Friday of every month with posts from fellow blog ring members. There are eight other writers blogging in the Read Around the Rainbow Webring this month… find their posts about their weird internet searches!

Nell Iris : Ofelia Grand : Addison Albright : Amy Spector : Fiona Glass : K. L. Noone : Lillian Francis: Holly Day :

15 thoughts on “Read Around the Rainbow: Do you set your stories where you live?

  1. Writing historicals adds a whole extra layer of complexity to the question, doesn’t it? Because then it’s not so much ‘where you live’ but also ‘when you live’. Contemporary Wiltshire or London or wherever must be very different to how it was in the 17th or 18th century…

    Liked by 1 person

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