It’s week five of the Cyber Launch Party! The prize is the DVD of the third season of CHARMED, and I’ll pick the random winner from this week’s comments.
I’m so excited about our guest blogger today! Last year, I picked up New York Times and USA Today bestseller Nalini Singh’s book HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE and became an instant fan girl. Nalini’s Psy/Changeling world fascinated me. And now, she’s embarking on an exciting new series with the release of ANGELS’ BLOOD March 3rd. Romantic Times chose ANGELS’ BLOOD as a Top Pick, calling it “Tremendous!”, while Night Owl Reviews called it one “heck of a ride.” Join me in welcoming Nalini Singh!
Location, location, location!
First up, thank you to Jennifer for inviting me to guest on her blog. I thought it might be fun to talk about story locations today.
My March release, Angels’ Blood, kicks off the Guild Hunter series. Angels’ Blood is set in New York City. I had to change the geography of the buildings a little bit to insert Archangel Tower and a few other things, but the physical geography remains the same. So does the technology, as the book is set in the present day.
I didn’t consciously sit down and choose NY as the setting for Angels’ Blood. I simply knew as soon as I started writing it, that there was no other place it could be set. The city is urban, beautiful, and yes, it has a dark side. All those elements tied in perfectly into the story.
But more, it was the feel, the beat of the city that was important, because the angels and vampires in Angels’ Blood aren’t reclusive or hidden. They’re very much active in the present, very much part of the world. We see the city through their eyes, and New York’s mix of sophistication and hard edges suits them far better than a “softer” city ever could.
I think setting can play an important part in a book, whether it’s described in depth, or mentioned in passing. As a reader, I often don’t pay attention to a setting consciously-sometimes, it’s only after I close the book that I realize how much it helped shape the story.
How about you? Is setting important to you? Are there any settings, whether present day or historical, that you particularly enjoy?
Everyone who leaves a comment goes into a draw to win a signed copy of a book from my Psy/Changeling backlist (i.e. published before 2009). Prize will be posted out in March.
You can read excerpts at my website: http://http://www.nalinisingh.com/
February 19th, 2009 at 8:21 am · Link
When setting is written well it acts as a supporting actor to the main characters, provides characterization, and grounds the reader in the story. I don’t want excessively detailed description in the books I read, but I want hints enough to pull my imagination into the story. Since this is what I like to read, I try to write it in this manner.
February 19th, 2009 at 10:09 am · Link
Nalini, I’ve heard wonderful things about this book! Much luck and success to you for the series. Setting plays a big role in some of my books while in others, it’s secondary. Why yes, I had waffles this morning, why do you ask?
The series I’m currently working on and trying to sell, The Delta Ghosts, could only be set in and around New Orleans. The Big Easy and bayou country is as much a character as the the heroines and heroes. In my Tir Nan Og trilogy (first book out sometime this year), the setting is secondary to the story but still plays a part.
I want a sense of the surroundings when I read a book. I want to feel the heartbeat of place and time. I want to breathe the same as air the characters. Needless to say, it takes a rare book and writer to suck me in that completely. I look forward to reading Angels’ Blood when it comes out!
February 19th, 2009 at 11:14 am · Link
Good to see you. I think setting is pretty important, in that it tells alot about who the characters are. Why would X live here? Or move here? Or search for something/someone here?
How are you working the Tower? Can it be seen by everyone?
February 19th, 2009 at 11:29 am · Link
As a reader I mold my imagination around what you as the author tells me. If you tell me there are swamps in Hawaii, I believe you because you’re the one telling me the story. Sue Grafton’s books take place in a fictious town, it all works for me. Does that make me gullible?
February 19th, 2009 at 11:49 am · Link
I would love to read your book. I think setting adds a very important part. It adds to mood, how the action will unfold, and how I feel. If the space is small (coffin, elevator) where the action is taking place, I feel cramped. But if the action is taking place in a large space (open field, warehouse) then I feel like I physically have a lot of room around me. I am an active reader and tend to get really involved in the story, so setting, like senses, draw me in more.
February 19th, 2009 at 12:02 pm · Link
I can’t wait to read your new series!
I do think setting is important and like Elizabeth I get really involved in the story. Some settings I like are castles, ballrooms, haunted houses, and Native American villages.
Nice to “see” you here on Jen’s blog.
February 19th, 2009 at 12:03 pm · Link
Nalini, thank you so much for blogging with us today! I’m really excited to read ANGELS’ BLOOD!
Setting is important to me when it ties into the story, as it sounds like it does in your book. I like to feel the throb of the city, smell the dark ally, feel the abandoned building as the character experiences it.
February 19th, 2009 at 1:04 pm · Link
Nalini, I cannot wait to read Angel’s Blood. It sounds really good.
Setting is fairly important to me. It usually helps me to understand the characters and their actions better if the setting is described in a little detail. People react to their surroundings and I need to know what is going on around the characters I read. I love to escape into the books I am reading and experience new places and see things through the characters’ eyes.
February 19th, 2009 at 3:28 pm · Link
Settings are important in a story – cities can add to the grittiness of a romantic suspense and the sweeping panorama of the mountains/forests can add either a creepy feel if there is a murderer on the loose – or act as a sanctuary for the Changelings *g* – however there is, for me, a fine line between setting the book somewhere and being drowned in detail about every last building or flora/fauna!
February 19th, 2009 at 4:31 pm · Link
Setting is very important. For me, I love to lose myself in the story and the only way to do that is by having an authentic setting. The Psy/changling series is a good example of this, as is JD Robb’s futuristic NY.
Can’t wait for the new release!!
February 19th, 2009 at 5:31 pm · Link
I used to think settings didn’t matter much and then I realize they do. Because I travel through books. When I am reading a historical I go back in time to that period. Hey it a fine way to travel! You can visit cities that you have never been to or you can go back in time to the civil war, so you see settings are very important.
February 19th, 2009 at 5:48 pm · Link
I think settings such as city, time of year, time period and even how the characters dress are very important to how a book plays out. For instance, certain cities bring to mind an atmosphere usually associated with it, for example, New Orleans. When I think of New Orleans in modern times, I visualize rowdy & loud – Mari Gras. But when I think of New Orleans in older years, I can hear Jazz filling air.
BTW – I’m dying to read Angels’ Blood.
February 19th, 2009 at 8:09 pm · Link
I believe setting is important to the story. It takes you to a place where you see how the characters live.
February 19th, 2009 at 8:32 pm · Link
I really don’t think about it much as long as it is consistent with previous/real geography. When something is off, it makes the story less enjoyable.
Really looking forward to Angel’s Blood ’cause I love the way you write! And besides who doesn’t want read about dark, edgy angels!
February 19th, 2009 at 8:52 pm · Link
I think location can be very important. It is like having an extra character especially in Urban Fantasy, for the characters interact throughout the city.
I’m really looking forward to Angels’ Blood.
February 19th, 2009 at 9:19 pm · Link
Settings are important to me. My favorite settings include England, Scotland, Vegas, San Fran and New Orleans.
February 19th, 2009 at 9:42 pm · Link
Thanks for the welcome everyone! I hope you all enjoy ANGELS’ BLOOD when it releases.
Laura:How are you working the Tower? Can it be seen by everyone?
Yep. It dominates the skyline, which in itself, says something about the power of the beings who live there.
February 19th, 2009 at 9:43 pm · Link
love to read books in setting i’ve never boon
February 19th, 2009 at 9:44 pm · Link
lol I mean been.
February 19th, 2009 at 11:23 pm · Link
I agree with everyone. The setting is important. I like the characters to go with the setting if they do not then the story becomes dull and boring.
February 20th, 2009 at 12:47 am · Link
Location and setting are very importnnt to a story, they allow me to go places I’ve never been(just about everywhere) and places I’ll never be able to go (past, future). It takes a very special author to write a story that makes you leave your world and live in theirs. Some of my favorite locations are: western US, futuristic worlds, Scotland and New Orleans…really just about anywhere a good author takes me!!
February 21st, 2009 at 8:22 pm · Link
I really enjoyed reading Angel’s Blood and your original insights into angels. It was entertaining to read a new take on vampires and their relationship in the species power groups.
I’m sure this book will launch your career as high as your angel’s tower.