posted on June 30, 2015 by Jeanne Devlin

The Romance of Place …

Writerspace - Let's Talk Books icon.inddIt’s that time of year when many of us are on the road or in the air headed to beloved or exotic locales.

But whether you have a ticket to ride, or will spend summer in your own backyard, chances are a good book will be part of your vacation.

And if books are part of our travel experience—whether we be arm chair travelers or globe-trotters—then wouldn’t it seem reasonable that the places our favorite authors set their stories would figure into the books and authors we seek out?

We all know friends who read historical Regency novels in good part because someone, like New York Times Bestselling Author Sabrina Jeffries, knows how to paint a picture of that time, right down to the importance of wearing white or summering at Brighton Beach—yes, such readers may also appreciate courtship conducted with a certain number of rules and decorum, but I would argue the time travel they experience in the hands of a good historic romance author and the places they go are equally important when it comes to such books’ charm.

For me, the wild and desolate moors of Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights were a character in their own right, and to this day, if truth be told, I am more likely to expect great love to be found in such maritime locations . . . and I seek such brooding places out when I travel and when I read.

CREDIT-Donnay Style   Whether it is how sisters Nancy Bush or Lisa Jackson depict the Oregon coast or Julie James describes Chicago . . . or Eloisa James extols Paris in love, I am willing to bet that your favorite authors not only create great heroes and charming heroines but they place them in places you are sure to remember fondly.

It’s a delicate balance:  too much detail and the reader may nod off or skip over it; too little, and that Regency you’re reading might as well be set in modern-day Baltimore.

So who do you think does it best?  Have you ever picked up a novel just because it was set in Paris or Bangkok or Tuscany or London?  Have you ever read a book that transported you to a place as real as if you had stepped on its soil?

We have weeks of summer left, and we’re ready to travel.

— Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin

Jeanne Devlin is editor of The RoadRunner Press, an award-winning traditional publishing house based in the American West. An editor of newspapers, magazines, and books for more than thirty years, she has also worked on national marketing and publicity campaigns with such publishers as Simon and Schuster and St. Martin's and for a number of New York Times bestselling authors, including Robyn Carr, Sabrina Jeffries, Debbie Macomber, Linda Lael Miller, and Wendy Corsi Staub. A graduate of the Stanford University Publishing Course, Jeanne is a member of the Children's Book Council, the National Book Critics Circle, and the Oklahoma Center for the Book of the Library of Congress. She also consults with boutique publishers.

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