I’ve talked about my love for a good story with compelling, well-developed characters. I’ve talked about my love for authors of good series fiction. I should also mention that time and place is very important to me.
Maybe it’s a personal quirk, but I love novels that have a strong sense of place. I’m talking about more than just a general setting. I want the author to pick me up and take me there. John D. MacDonald transported me to Travis McGee’s boat in Fort Lauderdale; I’ve never been to Maine, but Stephen King makes me feel like I have. Randy Wayne White has shown me his world around Sanibel Island, Florida.
I think the best writers have the ability to weave place into the story they’re telling and create a richer experience for the reader. I particularly admire authors who write period fiction and are able to combine that element with place. I’ve always enjoyed history (particularly southern history), and I love reading books that let me travel back in time. I’m a big fan of James Michener and I also enjoy the work of my friend and fellow writer, Judith White. Judy is the author of the wonderful Sam Flanagan mystery series set in Detroit during the early forties. If you haven’t read her work you’re missing out.
Time and place – I think they’re important elements in writing. What do you think?