Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Fine Line

Sometimes there's a very fine line between reality and fantasy, especially for writers like me to who love to create fictional settings based on real ones. I recently submitted a proposal for a three-book series set in a small town in Wisconsin that exists only in my imagination. However, it closely resembles the very real town of Wabasha, Minnesota, a charming town that I've visited several times while visiting family in the midwest.

Wabasha itself would make a lovely setting for a story, but I would worry about getting the details right, and I would really worry that one or more of my characters might resemble a real person who lives there. I don't actually know anyone who lives in Wabasha, but I wouldn't want anyone to jump to the wrong conclusion.

I wanted to keep the setting, though, so I hopped across the Mississippi and built a whole new town in Wisconsin, because as a writer, I can do that!

My town has a big wide Main Street lined with historic brick buidlings.

My town has beautiful homes that hug the banks of the Mississippi, and one that looks a lot like this one has been turned into a family-run B&B.

In my imagination I was able to give this home a stable full of horses and a beautiful gazebo that overlooks the river. Can you imagine a romantic interlude here? I can!

My town needed a name, of course, and again I looked to Wabasha for inspiration.
Every town has a cafe on Main Street, and in Wabasha it's the Rivertown Cafe. Hm. Rivertown. I liked that. That's how the town of Riverton, Wisconsin was created. Now I hope I get to write these stories about three sisters who call Riverton home, and the three men who come town and make it theirs.
Meanwhile, I'm happy to say I have two books being released in May.  Maggie's Way (Harlequin Heartwarming, May 1st, 2013) was originally published as The Man for Maggie (Harlequin American Romance, June 2007). It's been rewritten to fit the wholesome Heartwarming line, and I hope readers will love it every bit as much as the original. You won't find it in stores, but the larger print edition can be ordered from Harlequin and the electronic edition is available everywhere eBooks are sold, including Amazon.

Then on May 7th Daddy, Unexpectedly (Harlequin American Romance) goes on sale! This is the third book in my Seattle-set Ready Set Sold series about three women who run a business that renovates, stages and sells homes for other families while they search for their own home sweet homes and happily ever afters.
Throughout the month of May I'll be doing a series of guest blogs and giveaways, and also running some fun contests for my newsletter subscribers. To find out more, please drop by my website to find out where I'll be and to sign up for my newsletter. Happy reading!
Until next time,


Susan Lyons/Fox said...

Lee, I hope you do get to write those Riverton books. I've used real settings (Vancouver, Whistler, Belize, Greek islands) and fictional ones (Caribou Crossing) myself, and there's something fun about creating exactly the town and community that you want. And then of course, as with our characters, it's likely to take on a life of its own.

Anonymous said...

I love the pictures in your post and I find it fascinating how you used a real place to create a fictional one. Riverton sounds idyll and I look forward to the stories.

Lee McKenzie said...

You're so right, Susan. Settings can take on a life of their own, just as our characters do. I love this part of the writing process!

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Jo-Ann! In addition to my heroes and heroines, I've been having lots of fun populating Riverton with a lot of other interesting "characters"!

Jo said...

Good settings are so important.

How come you haven't been nagged about Captcha? The blogfest team don't like us to have it on during the Challenge.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats on the books.

My fiction is all set in real cities, but fortunately I've visited all of them and was able to get details right.

And did you know you still have word verification on?

Lee McKenzie said...

Jo and Diane, thanks for stopping by! I agree, Jo, that setting is so important. Diane, I've set books in San Francisco and Seattle, but I prefer fictional small town.s

I apologize for word verification. It's on to prevent massive amounts of spam from being posted. Unfortunately, this blog doesn't have a full-time moderator to keep an eye on posts and delete the spam comments :(

Lynda R Young said...

Your setting is wonderful. Gotta love the power of writers.

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Lynda :)

Amanda Renée said...

I'm looking forward to reading both books :)

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Amanda! I look forward to writing them!