Sunday, October 14, 2007

COVER TO COVER: Reality versus imagination

In this series I've already done a post on setting, so consider this an adjunct to it.
In COURTING CUPID, Blane takes a leave of absence from his high flying career to build his own house.
He wants a sea change. It's the first step in his dream.
I needed a small town about an hour or so drive from Melbourne(essential to tying in with city girl Camryn's conflict) and it had to be coastal.
My initial choice was Torquay, closely followed by Cape Schank, then Inverloch.
As fate would have it, I couldn't book accommodation at any of those places so I did a search on quickbeds and came up with Barwon Heads.
I knew Barwon Heads was down near Torquay somewhere so it would be perfect. (Little did I know how exactly right it would be!)
Now, I won't bore you with the details of a nightmare trip down there yesterday which took 4 hours instead of 1.5 (babies with eczema do NOT travel well!!!) or how totally drained I was when we finally arrived, but the place was perfect.
Stayed in a condo on a golf course but did the bulk of the research this morning in town...snapped many mental images, got a feel for what Camryn and Blane see, took a drive along the ocean coastal road, immersed myself in the ambience...perfect for the layering process I will commence in the next few weeks.

So my point behind all this?
When I was having accommodation hassles ages ago, I almost gave up and decided I could always create a fictitious coastal town. (After creating a fictitious Arabian desert country Adhara in THE DESERT PRINCE'S PROPOSAL out June 08, I knew how much fun it can be!)
While using creative licence is fabulous (just ask the great paranormal authors out there at the moment, or the talented authors creating wonderful sheikh and royalty books), in some cases nothing beats placing yourself in the setting of your book.
For me, the setting is interwoven with the conflict so I really needed to make it a focal point of the book, therefore walking a mile in my heroine/hero's shoes was crucial and very productive. I'm pleased to say that Barwon Heads proved a gold mine and my characters will be eternally grateful!
And the spooky bit?
After I booked the condo and checked out the town on line, I learned it was the place where they filmed the TV show...Seachange!
Had to be fate that Blane chose it for his very own seachange...


Fiona Lowe said...

You came to Barwon Heads and you didn't call in and see me???!!
Shame, Nicola, shame :-)


Nicola Marsh said...

Suitably chastened and hanging head low... ;)