posted on April 28, 2014 by Kat Martin

What Makes a Good Setting for a Story?

Against the Wild coverThe end of May, the tenth book in my AGAINST series, AGAINST THE WILD, is being released.  This is the first of three books about the rugged Brodie brothers of Alaska.

Being plot-oriented, I usually work through the story from start to finish, then figure out where the best place is going to be for that story to take place.

Sometimes, as happened with AGAINST THE WILD, the setting was an essential part of the story before it was even conceived.  There is no place on earth like Alaska.  Dylan Brodie, the hero, Dylan Brodie is the new owner of an old fishing lodge in remote Eagle Bay, Alaska, a place he intends to rebuild as a home for himself and his eight-year old daughter.

Dylan has hired sexy, redheaded interior designer, Lane Bishop, to help him with the extensive remodel.  All is going smoothly till the crew working on the lodge begins to believe the old place is haunted.  Unfortunately for Dylan, so does Lane.

But is the haunting real?  Or is it something even more sinister?

It all began with a month-long trip my husband and I recently took to Alaska.  It was the second such trip, both of which involved traveling cross-country, staying in a tiny pickup camper.

Every day, every night spent out in the open, filled my  head with story ideas.  By the time we got back, I had the rough outlines for the Brodie brothers, Dylan, Nick, and Rafe, rugged outdoor hunks, and the women who tame them.

Even though I knew the area and since I live in Montana was familiar with much of the wildlife, the trip filled my senses with sounds, smells, and idea for some of the interesting people who appear in the books.

To help orient myself to different locales, I use Google Maps extensively.  They have street maps, street cameras, satellite views, and still photos, all of which help you see exactly what an area looks like.  Pretty amazing stuff.

Going there, of course, is the best way to chose a setting.  And for myself, there are places I couldn’t write about without seeing.  Alaska is one of them.

We took the ferry up the Inside Passage on part of our trip and stopped in the little town of Wrangell, which was the inspiration for the fictional town of Waterton in AGAINST THE WILD.  EagleBay, where Dylan’s lodge sits, is a “fifteen minute plane right south.”

I do my best to pick a place that fits my characters and is a place I can relate to.  I try to choose fun, interesting spots so the readers will have fun with the story.

Hope you enjoy my Alaska hottie, Dylan Brodie, along with Lane Bishop in AGAINST THE WILD, and watch for Nick in AGAINT THE SKY, and Rafe, in AGAINST THE TIDE.

Till then, very best wishes and happy reading, Kat

Kat Martin

Kat Martin

Bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written sixty-eight Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.

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