I've been thinking about settings lately because I'm beginning a new book, and one of the hallmarks of Harlequin Presents are the glamorous, international settings. I've written a book set mostly in Spain, where I've traveled, two books set in Mediterranean kingdoms I made up (though I have traveled to Italy, so I used some of that culture), and now I'm starting a new one set somewhere I've never been: Argentina.
It's a little scary thinking of setting a book in a place where I haven't walked down the streets, eaten the food, or smelled the air. Yet with guidebooks and Google Earth, I'm hoping I don't do too bad a job of making Buenos Aires come alive for the reader.
I really like making up places, though. It frees you to create without fear that a reader will angrily take you to task for messing up the geography of her hometown. In a couple of my unsold manuscripts, I made up small towns in the US and had so much fun with the quirks of small town life without the fear of getting something wrong.
Where do you set your books? Do you make up towns or kingdoms or islands? Or do you use places you've been? Or do you use guidebooks, Google Earth, and locals to create settings in places you've never been? What's your favorite setting?
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