Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Setting a Book in a Small 1980s Town

Earlier this week, I wrote "The End" on my book manuscript, Evening of the Dragonfly. Writing those words at last gave a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment. It also offered the opportunity for reflection about the setting.

Unlike my "Passenger to Paradise" books, this story features no exotic destination. Instead the setting is Jefferson City, Virginia. This fictitious town is a little like the community where I live but not exactly. Jefferson City is the same town I used for my novel, Daddy's Christmas Angel.

Small Town VA 2006  MMSikes
Creating a fictitious location gives the author a lot of opportunity for use of the imagination. While actual places can be sprinkled into the story from time to time, it's fun to watch completely fictitious locations develop and become real in a book.

This book, like Daddy's Christmas Angel, is set during the 1980s. I've chosen that time period because it's a time prior to 9 11 when we were more innocent and didn't know as much about hatred in the world. It was an era when people strolled along streets and looked around them at the scenery, not at the cell phones in their hands.

As in Daddy's Christmas Angel, the heroine of my story is a school teacher. Farrah Ferand is also an artist, and her paintings play a big part in the story.

In coming weeks, I'll write more about my new book.

Do you set your stories in fictitious locations? Do you set them in the present time or do you have a different time period that you like better?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The days when everyone wasn't texting while driving...
I have to make up everything although I did draw a little from England for my upcoming book.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Alex, nice to have books set in a complete fantasy land like you do!
Thanks for visiting!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I picked real cities for mine - big ones like Orlando, Greenville SC, and Albuquerque. Some of the businesses were made up though, and that was fun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monty - well done ... and it must make it easier to write in an area you've known - albeit you make it fictitious ...

Good luck with getting your book out there .. and I note Alex' mention of England in his new book .. cheers Hilary

Julie Flanders said...

I've only used real settings so far but I love writing about those settings in historical time periods.
I'm looking forward to learning more about your new book. Congratulations on getting to the end!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Diane, I think big cities are safer to use. I do use the big city of Richmond VA in my book and made up some businesses there like you did. That is fun! Thanks for commenting.

Hilary,it's nice to see a place in my mind and then disguise it. You will know a lot about places in England! Thanks for visiting.

Julie, I bet it's fun to research the historical time periods for those places. Thanks!