Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Welcome Author Kira Sinclair-Guest Blogger

Please welcome my fellow Heart of Dixie writing friend, author Kira Sinclair.  

She's a Harlequin  BLAZE author with a heart of gold. I'm excited to share my Veranda with her today as she shares about one of her favorite topics: Writing. Today's topic? Setting. And she's got setting nailed in her fabulous new novel, What Might Have Been.  I hope you enjoy meeting Kira as much as I enjoy knowing her!! 

Setting – More Than Just a Place

One of my favorite topics to talk about is writing.  Ask me a question, get me rolling and I can talk your ear off.  I recently had a nice discussion with a friend about settings.  Part of it started because of my bio – if you’ve read it you know I’m a self proclaimed city girl who’s been plopped down in the middle of the country.  The transformation started when my daddy moved us from Michigan to Alabama (and I seriously asked him if we could still wear shoes.  Hey, I was only nine). And continued with my husband’s penchant for bringing home critters...but that’s another discussion for another time.

I’ve come to realize, during my talk of settings, that up until What Might Have Been I’ve focused my attention on fairly urban locations.  Maybe I was feeling homesick.  However, WMHB returned me back to my present existence.  It’s set on a commercial peach orchard.  Now, I don’t live on a working farm.  At the moment the most we raise are goats and baby hamsters, but I do enjoy looking out my kitchen window and seeing the clear stretch of our land instead of my neighbor’s dilapidated trampoline and overgrown flower beds. 

There are definitely advantages to living in the country.  I just miss my pizza delivery guy sometimes. 
I did love doing the research for WMHB though.  Building a fictional small town where everyone knows your business.  The kind where there’s only one funeral home and multiple Baptist churches.  I enjoyed pulling out my learned Southern heritage and finally getting to use it.

So, do you find you gravitate towards a certain kind of setting?  Do you read books where that feel familiar or do you like to change up the pace?  Are you a city girl who likes to read about cowboys or a country girl who likes to travel to the urban meccas?



Vicki Lewis Thompson said...

Hi, Kira! I remember you talking about this peach orchard book, and I'm eager to read it!

I have fun with city settings, but the pressure is on to get details right because readers from that city will be watching, LOL. With a country setting, I can make up a small town and not have to worry if I got a street name wrong, because I created those streets!


Instigator said...

Another good reason why I like rural settings! I can't make it all up. So much easier than research. :-)


Instigator said...

Another good reason why I like rural settings! I can't make it all up. So much easier than research. :-)


Wendy S. Marcus said...

Hi Kira!
Setting is such a tricky thing - at least for me. Yes, you need to draw the reader in, get her to feel and experience the setting. But I can't stand long descriptive paragraphs. Threading it in is difficult but when done correctly, can make a scene spectacular.

Katherine Bone said...

I love settings. Getting the feel just right, creating characters that shine in their environment is a big challenge. But when instinct tells you it's right, the writing flows easily. As an historical writer, I have a big task. Providing detail in believable amounts. Although historical writers have to be extra careful not to overwhelm the reader or make him/her step out of the story with too much detail that bores the reader to tears.

Setting provide the foundations of stories. I've heard so much about this peach orchard book and I'm sure readers will think the setting adds the country flavor you were aiming for. ;)

Christine said...

I tend to layer setting in after I've written a first draft. It's something I try to keep simple: utilize what and where I know a lot about. I have learned that if it is woven in as part of the character's overall characterization it becomes very important to the story. Long descriptions are not for me. A sprinkling of info is more my speed.

Thanks for the post, Kira!

Gwen Hernandez said...

What a great cover, Kira! I'm a suburban girl and I tend to gravitate toward that type of setting, so far always in places I've lived or spent a lot of time.

But I like to read books set in all kinds of places. It's fun to read about small town life since I've never really experienced it. And I've never lived in the middle of a bustling downtown either. Or a ranch, or farm, or in the 1800s. It's all good. ;-)