Settings of Gold
by Inglath Cooper
|I started my first manuscript during my junior year at Virginia Tech. I had a couple of characters in mind, a flimsy skeleton of a plot, and one pressing question. Where to set the book?|
At that point in my life, I hadn't traveled too far past the Virginia state line. And to me, the rest of the world sounded alluring in a way the town I grew up in couldn't compare.
So I considered my options. My story could take place on an island. An obviously appealing setting. Palm trees, sinking pink sunsets, water as blue as a robin's egg. And of course, glistening white sand.
Or what about Italy? A place I had always dreamed of going. Olive groves, the chiming of beautiful old church bells, faded stucco buildings.
|A Woman Like Annie...a look at love as we would want our own to be, a small town where we d love to live, characters who we d meet on the street and call friends. This is one love story that won t end when you close the book, it will continue in your heart. A story worth reading more than once. Highly recommended.|
- Anne K. Edwards, ReadertoReader.com
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|I set my first few manuscripts in exactly that kind of locale. The only trouble was, I had never been to any of those places. And once I got past the generic descriptions, I found myself facing what felt like an empty reservoir from which to draw my story.|
I had read the advice in practically every creative writing handbook. Write what you know. And I began to understand that they weren't just talking about plot and characters, but the place where the story unfolds as well.
What I knew was southwest Virginia. But what could the rest of the world possibly find interesting about it? Despite my skepticism, I finally started a manuscript set in a small Virginia town much like my hometown. This was the first of my books to sell. No coincidence, I'm sure. How did I finally come to see what was around me and what others might find appealing about it? By looking at where I've lived and what it has meant to me.
The physical beauty of Virginia is indisputable. Spring arrives with its paintbrush of green. Summer fills the orchards with apples and peaches, thickens fields with grass for hay. Fall dips maples and oaks in red and gold. Winter lays ice across our lakes and hides our roads under snow.
Inglath Cooper is the RITA Award-winning author of six published novels. Her books are often peopled with characters who reflect the values and traditions of the small Virginia town where she grew up. To read about her latest release, please visit her website at http://www.inglathcooper.com
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