#Authorsonlocation – Travel the world with Tracy Buchanan
What is it about settings in a novel that makes it interesting? What kind of settings are interesting to read about and examine. A small seaside town? A far flung destination or a one ravagedTracy Buchanan pops into talk all about settings in her novel – why they’re important and why they left a mark…
Over to Tracy Buchanan….
I used to work as a travel editor and one visit will always stick in my mind: the fascinating Balkan country of Serbia. I remember being driven from the airport and staring out at the exposed innards of buildings bombed during the Kosovo War. But just a few miles later, we were in the tranquil untouched hills of neighbouring Fruska Gora. The city, and the country as a whole, is a destination of contrasts and I knew instantly it would play a major part in my first novel, THE ATLAS OF US.
Also in THE ATLAS OF US is Thailand. I was there ten years ago for my honeymoon and just adored the place. But as I holidayed there, I couldn’t help but think of how ravished it had been by the tsunami. Thus began my fascination with beautiful destinations which have something less perfect bubbling beneath the surface.
Speaking of scars beneath the surface, in my latest novel HER LAST BREATH, the focus is on an imaginary seaside town called Lillysands which looks stunning on the surface. And yet beneath the surface, it’s on the verge of falling apart with landslides and cottages hovering on cliff edges, ready to tumble into the sea below. There are many towns in Devon like this, and around the UK. I find this fascinating, how a tourist town can present itself to be perfect and yet it’s falling apart. Much like people, hey (especially my characters!)?
Speaking of UK seaside resorts, I was really taken by Norfolk when I visited it many years ago, especially the submerged forest there. Submerged forests are the focus of my novel MY SISTER’S SECRET and while many of the ones I feature in the novel are based in exotic locations, the UK ones are particularly interesting as you can go see them for yourself, remains of ancient forests flooded by oceans or lakes.
A complete contrast to the sunny seaside locations I feature in my novels! I’m actually a complete snow fiend, love the stuff! I also find myself drawn to books set in icy places, like The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. So I adored visiting Iso-Syote in Finland, right in the north of Lapland, making it even snowier and even colder than the rest of Lapland! I featured it in THE ATLAS OF US and am looking forward to somehow shoehorning a bit more snow into future books!
Thank you so much Tracy – A fascinating tour of your far flung novels!