FOLLOW THE HEART: Setting the Scene
When I write, the one thing I must do other than cast my characters is to find images of my settings—from the city to the sitting room, I need to have a concrete image to inspire me, even if it’s just a hand-drawn town map or house floor plan.
This is even more important for me with the historical settings, because I not only need to know what furniture, wall treatments, windows, rooms, and houses looked like back then, but I’m working in cities (and a country) I’ve never personally been to. So research and image collection are vital. And with internet image search so easy, this is a lot easier to do now than it was ten or fifteen years ago.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the key settings featured in Follow the Heart:
I, personally, have always lived in a college town (Las Cruces, NM; Baton Rouge, LA; Nashville, TN)—and I much prefer smaller cities (as evidenced by my creation of Bonneterre), so Oxford has always held more interest to me than London. Even though the university is a HUGE part of Oxford proper, my stories take place on the literal outskirts of the town—in the country or the suburbs (yes, “suburbs” was a term in use in 1851). It’s hard to find images of Oxford that aren’t of the university buildings. (Click each thumbnail to see the larger image on Pinterest.)
This is the location of the primary action in the story—the home of Kate and Christopher’s uncle, Sir Anthony Buchanan. The template for Wakesdown Manor is Althorp Hall, the ancestral home of Princess Diana—the seat of the Spencer family since 1508.
The Wakesdown Conservatory, Orangery, Gardens, and Folly
Well . . . maybe saying the house is the location of the primary action of the story isn’t entirely true—because many important things happen in the conservatory, orangery, gardens, and park, with one very important scene happening in the folly.
The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in London
I’ve done a few posts with images from the GE which you can find here:
Obviously, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the settings in the book—but these are the most important. If you have any questions about the setting, please feel free to ask!
On May 1, I will be giving away FIVE signed copies of Follow the Heart.
Beginning Monday, April 15, 2013, and ending Tuesday, April 30, 2013, I’ll be doing a series of blog posts on the background and inspiration for the Great Exhibition series and Follow the Heart. Each comment you leave on every post between 4/15/13 and 4/30/13 will earn you a name in the “hat” for the drawing. (Posts will be closed to new comments after 24 hours, so be sure to check in daily—subscribe via email above, or check my Twitter or Facebook page, as each new post gets announced there, too—for the latest post to comment on.)
Comment early, comment often!