Tuesday, July 12

Setting, Situation, Scene . . . Continued

Yesterday, Liz talked about using the same settings and situations from novel to novel and I was fascinated with the idea. Of course, I immediately looked to my own writing, searching for situations and settings that I use regularly. I found some, but before I tell you about them, I just want to say that I think that is the nature of writing. We write what know, as Liz pointed out, and what we love. Our own lives and our own settings will be reflected in our stories.

Good examples of that are not only our Liz Flaherty's novels, but also Douglas Kennedy's books. One of my favorite authors, his cosmopolitan lifestyle shows up in every book he's ever written. And think about Stephen King's novels and how they reflect his quiet, shuttered life in Maine. Danielle Steele's novels almost all take place in San Francisco or Paris, where Steele has homes. Most authors write what they know and love.

I do it, too. Lakes play a huge role in my writing, and not just because the Women of Willow Bay is a series set on the shore of Lake Michigan. My characters need the water the same way I do. They walk the beach and find peace and joy in sunsets over the lake. Even when I write a book that isn't in Willow Bay, there will be a lake, I promise.

Wine--it's a part of everything I write because it's a part of my life. Delicious meals with wine show up in my books. I love trying different foods and I eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit and fish, so my characters do too. And like Liz, my characters almost always end up in a kitchen at some point. A cooking scene can build a relationship and so can a coffee shop scene. The Daily Grind, the coffee shop in Willow Bay, is the setting for a couple of pivotal scenes in the WOWB books.

Community and girlfriends. I love the feeling of community, even if it's in a big city, so that shows up in my stories. And girlfriends--oh, babies, I can't live without my BFFs, and neither can my heroines. Women taking care of each other is an important theme for me, so I don't write competitive heroines who will cat-fight over a man. My heroines are more likely to say, "Meh, you take him," and then share a glass of pinot noir and some cheese and crackers on a deck overlooking the lake.

So, Liz's question still stands: Do you have situations or places that repeat from story to story? Share them with us and explain why you write them. Wranglers are still curious!


  1. I'm with you on girlfriends. They are the reason I love women's Fiction as much as I do, I think.

    1. Yeah, I think that's probably the reason I love WF too!

  2. "Meh, you take him" LOVE IT! ;-)
    Since I write hot, I guess I could say bedrooms play a repeat appearance in my books. Seriously, I haven't noticed a theme of setting but I do try to incorporate wine & spirits into my books. great post!

    1. Thanks, Ava! Funny how wine makes an appearance in both of our stories, eh?