Friday, 24 June 2022

Read Around the Rainbow - Do you write about where you live?

 I'm a member of Read around the Rainbow, a rag tag collection of authors who are part of or who write about all letters of the LGBTQ+ rainbow. Each month we'll be posing a question or subject up for discussion. This month the question posed is 'Do you set your books in the place you live (or have lived) in?'

My answer is, as always, suitably vague. Sometimes, but only in the broadest terms, or not at all. Helpful, yes? No, not at all. I don't blame you if your response is "Whatever do you mean?"

Let's try and clarify. 

I live in the UK. South East to be more precise. And some of my books are set in and around that area. 

Waiting for a Spark is set the closest to home, in fact the Polish shop that Jerome visits when he runs out of milk is 5 minutes walk away. I used it myself, when I ran out of milk, and more recently when I couldn't get a bottle of Advocaat in the supermarket (I can't put the Christmas Tree up without a snowball). They do a gorgeous poppy seed cheesecake. 

Also set in the vicinity, although a few more miles out, is New Lease of Life. And yet the books couldn't be more different in tone as to the type of people that populate the pages. If Pip ran out of milk, he'd go without until he could order in a food delivery, and Colby, well he's far less likely to run out of milk and would stop off at Waitrose on his way home. Colby might have been a council estate lad but he's got money now, and Pip, well, he's the entitled elite, public schools, Royal Ascot, and Henley Regatta. He probably never had to wonder how the milk got in the fridge, it was just magically there. And then his accident happened and he just didn't care about milk (or food at all, really) to worry if it wasn't there. One city (and the outskirts), such a variety of people. 

In my Village Love series I made up my own village, based on all the villages in the South Downs that I've visited or driven through over the years. Look on a map, you won't find Slopy Bottom on any of them, but if you drive that corner of England you'll pass through any number that could be Slopy Bottom. The sights, the sounds, even the smells. 

Check out the posts from the other members of the RatR crew. 

Nell Iris: Read Around the Rainbow: Setting Books Where You Live

Ofelia Grand: Read Around the Rainbow | Do You Set Your Stories in the Place You Live?

Fiona Glass: Read Around the Rainbow: Setting Books Where You Live

Amy Spector: Read Around the Rainbow • Setting Books in Your Hometown #RAtR

Holly Day: Read Around the Rainbow | Do you set your books in the place you live?

KL Noone: Read Around the Rainbow: setting stories where you live?

Addison Albright: READ AROUND THE RAINBOW ~ WebRing ~ Have I set books where I've lived? ~ #RAtR


  1. I do that too! Make up villages, and borrow a little from here and there :)

    1. I have maps and everything. And history of the village.