Glad to be visiting your blog today, Larissa. You’ve offered me the opportunity to talk about setting—one of my favorite topics.
I’ve had several opportunities on this tour to babble on about how locations grab me. Indeed, to quote myself: “For each of my novels, my inspiration and first kernel of an idea has come from a location that has reached out, grabbed me, and wouldn’t let go. Sounds a bit silly, and it’s not the whole story, but truly, so far, I’ve been inspired to start a story because a location said, ‘Me! Me! Write about me!’ So, location/setting are central to my stories and writing.
From the location, I’ve then wondered—who would have lived there, or come that way? What is their story? And in the case of my first, Uncle Si’s Secret—the compelling thought at a particular place along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail on my dog walks also kept returning—‘What a perfect spot for a murder!’ (Another reason why exercise is good for you)
For Reticence of Ravens, there is a mini-mart at an I-15 exit I often pass, and for me is still most compelling—even though the book has long entered the world of published words. The gas pumps still don’t work, and food and beverage offerings remain minimal. And even now, every time I pass, something about the place sings to my heart.
In Lies of Convenience, my latest—the most wonderful view from my cousin’s apartment on Michigan Avenue and an aged Quonset hut in California’s Mojave Desert—combined in a most wonderful way to produce the “kernel” of Margot Madison-Cross’s adventure. In this adventure Route 66 “Roadies” have parts to play.
Which leads me to your interest in international life and travel. My last two novels have focused on Route 66, and I’m finding out about—with happy amazement—Route 66’s international appeal and following. There are auto, motor-cycle, van, and escorted tours—individuals and groups—from around the world who “do” the road. Indeed, I’ve personally met “Roadies” from Germany, France, Japan, and Australia at events, or at The Barn in Newberry Springs. Also in Newberry Springs is the restaurant The Bagdad Café (a cult-movie was made there), and buses, full of excited travelers stop there from myriad countries!
And for me, most important regarding setting, is “To take the reader there!” Be it the soggy rain forests of Washington, the wind driven and sand permeating California desert areas, or the world of Route 66!
Thanks so much, Larissa, it’s been great visiting with you today. One of the wonderful things about our blog tour is meeting new (to me) authors and readers!
Madeline’s books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Smashwords, in paper and e-book formats. You can visit her online at her website http://www.mmgornell.com, or her BLOG http://www.mmgornell.wordpress.com or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Buster, Dobie, and Mugs (the latest) are each drawing a name from comments for free copies of Lies of Convenience (or a M.M. Gornell title of your choosing).
Check M.M.'s blog on December 11 to see if you've won!
Madeline (M.M.) Gornell has four published mystery novels—PSWA awarding winning Uncle Si’s Secret (2008); Death of a Perfect Man (2009); Eric Hoffer Fiction finalist and Honorary Mention winner, the da Vinci Eye finalist, and Montaigne Medalist finalist Reticence of Ravens (2011); and PSWA award winner and Hollywood Book Festival Honorary Mention Lies of Convenience (2012). Both Reticence of Ravens and Lies of Convenience are Route 66 mysteries.
Madeline is also a potter with a fondness for stoneware and reduction firing. She lives with her husband and assorted canines in the Mojave Desert in a town on internationally revered Route 66.