Welcome to The Big Reveal.
I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them. Some of these ladies have helped me with my own work, or given me advice on blogging or writing, so check out their blogs and see what they’re about.
Do you prefer writing with real or imaginary settings?
What do you prefer to read?
Cassie Mae, Un-agented author
Real. I love researching them too. I prefer to read YA, in any setting or genre. Harry Potter will always be a setting I would love to go to. Universal Studios! Here I come
Jade Hart, Un-agented author
Again this is tricky to answer as I love to write about locations I’ve been to, but imaginary is also cool as the normal rules don’t apply if you don’t want them to. I dabble with both in my current WIP. It’s based in India and a little bit in Egypt but there’s also God realms and under-worlds which were fun to write. Quite a few books stand out to me with a wonderful setting: Clan of the Cave bear in the Ice Age. Cross-stitch series based in old england and scotland. Any location which is beautifully described and almost becomes another character is wonderful 🙂
Janet Taylor, Un-agented author
Even though I write about Time Travel, I am no science fiction-type world builder. I admire those people, like JK Rowling and Suzanne Collins who can come up with the most intricate yet vital details. As most of my story takes place in the year 1190, building settings rich in historical detail is very important. It doesn’t come naturally to me, the way writing dialogue does, so I have to work at it. Try to improve and grow, by reading others and studying craft. For me, no one does historical fiction like Diana Gabaldon. She’s a bestselling author of a Time Travel series called Outlander. Her people and places come alive in your hands.
Stacy Stokes, Un-agented author
Personally, I prefer writing real settings vs. imaginary, but I enjoy reading both. I recently read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and loved both the real world setting in Prague and the imagined setting in Elsewhere.
Me (Suzi) Un-agented author
I write mostly contemporary, so it’s all in the here and now. I’ve never created a brand new world for a story and think it might be difficult. I enjoy reading stories that take place in all different settings, but I probably end up reading mostly contemporary.
Joelene B. Perry, Published author
I prefer real settings – hence the contemporary. I’ve written a sci-fi that needs some tweaking, and have two paranormals that are out with readers right now, but I prefer contemp. Right now the settings I love take place in cities, because I miss living in the city (I’m in Wasilla, Alaska right now and it is NOT a city, lol)
Liesl Shurtliff, Pre-published author
A little of both? I think my imaginary settings always have some connection to real places, like the mountain village in RUMP is very connected to the mountains where I spent a great deal of my childhood. I don’t know that I have a preference as to the type of setting I like to read. Some authors weave setting (whether real or imaginary) into their story better than others. Erin Morgenstern’s THE NIGHT CIRCUS uses setting brilliantly. (And the whole thing is just brilliant, really.)
Mindy McGinnis, Pre-published author
I do both / either. I like the freedom of imaginary settings, but it’s also easy to lose your head in them. I’ll read any setting, as long as the writer sells it to me. THE STAND – I’ll say I love the setting, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in it.
Krista Van Dolzer, Agented author
I tend to throw imaginary elements into real settings:) In Steve’s case, I threw an imaginary scientific advancement–human cloning–into a real setting–post-WWII rural America.
As for books with settings I absolutely loved, the Harry Potter series has to be at the top of any list about world building. I also really enjoyed the steampunk setting of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series. (Talk about revisionist history!) But I also love real settings that sparkle when we see them through the main character’s eyes, like the Paris in Stephanie Perkins’s ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.
Melodie Wright, Agented author
Either. Depends on the story. I love the Narnia books for their setting, as well as Rosamund Pilcher’s books, which are so luscious you could eat them. Under the Tuscan Sun is another good one.
Ryann Kerekes, Agented author
Interesting question. I’m thinking about the last several books I loved and they all had imaginary settings. I read a lot of young adult, so rather than reading book after book set in high school, it’s fun to experience a completely imagined setting.
So do you prefer real or imaginary settings, for reading and writing?