Sunday, March 22, 2015

Guest Post: Using Real Locations in Fiction

Written by: Dana Michelle Burnett

When I’m reading a novel, one thing that really makes me feel connected to the story is the setting. Is it believable? Does it fit the story?

There are several books out there where the setting feels almost like an additional character. First coming to my mind is The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. The Mayfair house is as much a part of the story as the ghost that haunts it. Another example would be The Shade from A Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest, where the island is crucial to several elements of the story.

When I set out to write The Gifted and The Damned, I knew that I wanted the story to take place in a small town that had an old time, almost out of time, feel to it. As with my last two series, I chose Corydon Indiana, but this time for a very different reason.

It wasn’t the Civil War era homes that drew my attention this time. The entire town has feel of permanence. You can feel the history almost oozing up from the sidewalks. It made me wonder if it wouldn’t be possible for another, more paranormal history, to exist there as well.

Using an actual location gave a sense of reality to my work. If I was having trouble with a certain chapter, a quick walk through downtown Corydon would help me connect with my story and put me back on track.

I’ve always wondered if other authors, when using an real location, feel that same sense of connection. Did Anne Rice wander the streets of New Orleans? Did she breathe the air and take in the sounds that were a part of her stories?

As readers, does a real-life location, one that we can visit and touch, make a story more believable for us? Are those stories somehow more concrete for us?

About the Guest Author:
Dana Michelle Burnett spent most of her life writing short stories and sharing them with family and friends. Over the years, her work was published in numerous commercial and literary magazines including Just Labs, Mindprints: A Literary Journal, Foliate Oak, and many more. Her short story John Lennon and the Chicken Holocaust was include in The Best of Foliate Oak 2006.

Dana Michelle's Spiritus Series introduced the idea of a ghostly romance and became a Kindle bestselling series. She's an avid reader of anything dark and romantic. Dana Michelle lives in Southern Indiana with her dancing diva daughter and an assortment of pets.

More info:
Dana's newest book, The Gifted and the Damned, will be out on April 7th, and you can pre-order your copy here.


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