One of the perks of being an author is setting books in places you have enjoyed visiting. I like to locate my stories in atmospheric locations, mainly in Europe. I write romantic suspense, and I think that it can add to the tension to have scary events happening in beautiful places. If I’m throwing all manner of nasty stuff at my hero and heroine, at least the sun is shining! And I can stay warm, if only inside my own head. I hate the cold.
I lived for a long while in London, so that city features often in my books. My home is now on the coast of Wales and if I can, I like to include at least one Welsh scene in anything I write. In my debut novel, Never Coming Home, this is a short but crucial encounter that takes place in Cardiff, which is the Welsh capital. In my second book, Out of Sight Out of Mind, the latter half of the book is located on the Pembrokeshire coast. Sadly, in real life we cannot rely on sun filled summer days, so I had to invoke author privilege to adjust the weather accordingly – but I also included one day of typical Welsh rain. My hero had just revealed a sinister and damaging secret to my heroine and really upset her. After that I enjoyed sending him out in a torrential downpour and soaking him to the skin.
For this post I’ve chosen two photographs of Florence, in Italy. It’s a beautiful, historic city, full of memorable art and architecture, and one of my favourite places. When I was writing Never Coming Home, my debut novel, I needed a city where Kaz, my heroine, would search for her ex-husband, who has information that she needs. Florence was my number one choice.
My first picture is of the Ponte Vecchio – the bridge over the river Arno which is lined with shops, many of them selling jewelry – and yes, I have been known to shop there, while visiting the city. In Never Coming Home Kaz and Devlin – a security expert with a dark past, who Kaz has hired to help her track down her ex - walk across the bridge at night.
The second picture is a panorama of the city taken from the Piazzale Michelangelo. Again this is one of the locations from the book. Kaz admires the view, unaware that behind her in the crowds on the square Devlin is having a tense encounter with a former colleague. The pictures were taken on a trip to Italy a few years ago, and the weather was unexpectedly stormy, as you can see. But, of course, in the book I have ensured that the sun shone.
Evonne Wareham is published by award winning independent UK publisher, Choc Lit. Her debut novel, Never Coming Home, won the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ prize for 2012 and was a nominee for a Reviewers’ Choice Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. Her second book, Out of Sight Out of Mind, features a scientist who reads minds and a down-and-out who can’t remember his own name.