Monday, August 01, 2016

Pick a City for Romance! Annie West

As you know from my blogs, and hopefully my books, location is incredibly important to me. Whether it's a coastal area or mountain locale, or a rambling old house, or a city, I usually find at least one location in every book really 'speaks' to me as I write. That location is as important as another character to the development of my story and the way my characters interact.  I've had heroines who've struggled on dairy farms or found themselves in windswept deserts or isolated castles! But sometimes a city location is just right for a story. For instance, my current one, THE FLAW IN RAFFAELE'S REVENGE takes place in New York, as well as in country Australia and the Caribbean. My lucky characters - they really can be jets-setters!*Version*=1&*entries*=0#nav-subnav
Most of the time I don't deliberately set out to choose a location for a story, it chooses me. That's what happened with New York in FLAW, when I wanted a place as far from rural Australia (where Lily lives when the story opens) as I could get. And with Sao Paolo in Brazil for DAMASO CLAIMS HIS HEIR when Marisa finds herself unexpectedly pregnant to the most dangerous man she's ever met. And the quaint old city of Prague in Europe seemed the perfect place for Flynn and Ava to marry in THE SINNER'S MARRIAGE REDEMPTION.
A VOW TO SECURE HIS LEGACY is about a woman who believes she only has months to live. She decides to experience life to the full, and so of course, she includes Paris on her bucket list, where she meets a suave, charismatic Frenchman who turns her expectations on her head.
When I needed a palatial inner city apartment for a man intent on revenge against his English father, it seemed natural Rafe would move to London in RAFE'S REDEMPTION. I loved the glamour of that city as a backdrop to the tension between Rafe and Antonia, the woman he blackmails into being his mistress.

Some books almost grow from their setting. I knew from the first that SEDUCING HIS ENEMY'S DAUGHTER would be set in Sydney, and that sun would shine on the harbour, making it look it's spectacular best.

Right now I'm considering writing a few more of my HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS novellas and Venice is a distinct possibility for a setting. After all, it's such a romantic city and I was lucky enough to visit in the last couple of year so I have a good feel for the location.

So now it's your turn. I'd love to hear what city or cities you think might make a good setting for a romance. So much the better if it's one I haven't mentioned.

I'm giving away a copy of my first HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS novella: BACK IN THE ITALIAN'S BED to someone who comments. Do come back later to check the name of the winner - I'll post it in the comments section.


franca poli said...

Hello Annie,
For me, a romantic place could be in Italy, Florence, or some areas of Umbria. Abroad may be a few islands of Greece, however, not those famous and well known, but those small inhabited mainly by fishermen, or Croatia.


Natalija said...

Great post! I love books that are set in Venice or Sicily because I have been there many times and it's a better reading experience because I know the place. I think Scandinavian countries would make a perfect location. Norwegian fjords are breathtaking. Also, Northern men are different: more closed off and standoffish. I'd love me some buttoned-up Scandinavian millionaire.

Sue Gerhardt Griffiths said...

Fantastic post, Annie!

We're heading to Canada in a few days so that got me thinking with all the research I've been doing that Lake Louise (the name even sounds romantic) could be a gorgeous romantic setting for a romance. Or some of the other areas around West Canada - Victoria (with its beautiful Butchard Gardens) or Whistler (a lovely quaint town.) Just some locations to think about and an excuse for you to travel somewhere unique Annie - assuming you haven't been there before?

girlygirlhoosier52 said...

Any where in Italy, city or country side and actually, the same goes for Greece.

Annie West said...

Hi Franca!
I've never visited Florence but I've seen it a lot in films and books. What a great idea. How terrific it would be to do some research there for a book setting. Love the idea of small islands in Greece or Croatia. I wrote a book called 'The Savakis Mistress' which is set mainly on a small Greek island and I loved opening the story every day and diving into that world.

Annie West said...

Natalija, I'm grinning at the idea of a closed-off, buttoned-up Scandinavian hero. Now there's a thought.

I know what you mean about reading places you know about. I love that - so long as the book reflects reality and doesn't get it all wrong. As for Sicily, I've been wanting to visit there for years. Hopefully one day!

Annie West said...

Sue, no, I haven't been to Canada and I'm getting rather jealous as a friend is visiting there for a month very soon. Thanks for suggestions. It's a place that's been on my radar for a long time as it's a destination my mother has always dreamed of visiting but never quite got to. Hope you have the most marvellous time on your trip. All the preparation for a big trip like that is one of the best parts of the holiday, isn't it?

Annie West said...

Hi girlygirlhoosier52.

I love Greece and Italy for settings too! In fact my next book after this one will be partly set in Greece. :)

Cindy Hamilton said...

I love when the settings are on islands either Greek islands or Italy. But any foreign setting is good!

Annie West said...

Hi Cindy, there's something very appealing about a Greek island, isn't there? Or, as you say, Italy.

Annie West said...

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts on possible cities for future stories.

I've done a random draw and the winner is girlygirlyhoosier52. CONGRATULATIONS! If you contact me at annie(at)annie-west(dot)com or via my website at and provide your email address, I'll send you a copy of BACK IN THE ITALIAN'S BED via Amazon.

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, what a fun post. I love to hear about why writers make the artistic decisions they do. And I have to say, you write wonderful settings - they really are like another character. I'm a bit of a setting junkie. When I was a primary school kid just starting to discover the wonderful world of romance fiction, I remember dreaming that one day I'd get to go to all those wonderful places I read about. Delphi or Corfu with Mary Stewart - haven't made either of those yet. The windswept Yorkshire moors or Cornish coast with Victoria Holt - got to those! Numerous Spanish and Italian settings in the Mills and Boons I devoured. I've been to a lot of those. Hmm, are Spanish settings still popular? They really were the buzz when I was 12! The hero was always giving the heroine a tour of the Alhambra!

Elisa Checcaglini said...

Pienza, a Little Town near Siena. It's small but very characteristics

Laura Russell said...

I vote for Venice!! Si bella.