Paris doesn’t sell.
I’ve heard that statement quoted with the fervor of the newly converted and the weariness of the ancient cynic since I first decided I wanted to write. So me being me, I set my one of my favorite books, ART OF LOVE, in Paris.
But from my perspective from a small coffee shop on the rue Voltaire, there was no reason Paris shouldn’t sell. It’s a fabulous city charmed by and history to be a historical romance writer’s nirvana.
And for better or worse, the hero that came to me while I meandered the winding, medieval streets was a Scotsman. I was so excited about Alain of Huntly Wood that I couldn’t not write his story even if it did take place in Paris and even if Paris is the kiss of death for a romance.
But Alain’s story is intricately bound to Paris of the 12th century and the exciting, overcrowded and malodorous Latin Quarter. If set in London or Edinburgh or even the absolute gorgeous landscape between Inverness and Thurso, Alain’s story would be a different tale entirely—and a much less satisfying one—because in ART OF LOVE, Paris is not “wallpaper” but a thriving character in its own right.
So my questions to you, the readers:
· Do you notice setting at all? If so, how much? If not, why not?
· Do you want “place” to be as active and interesting a character in the story as the hero and heroine or are you happy with “wallpaper” settings?
· Do you read stories set in your favorite places or those on your wish list?