I have an office. It’s a very nice office. When we moved to this house, my work area was downsized significantly.
My husband hired someone to put in built-in, floor-to-ceiling shelves. So though it’s small, it’s actually a very useable office.
But I don’t write there often. I do paperwork. I pay bills. I update my iPod there. And occasionally if I have to write while the entire family is home, I write there.
Most workdays/school days the house is mine. Well, mine and my two prima donna dogs, Ethel Merman and Ella Fitzgerald. Ever since they became cover models for Everything But A Dog, they’ve had a bit of attitude.
But I digress. When the house is mine, I write on the couch. My view is a birdfeeder and a bunch of trees. I can barely make out the neighbor’s roofline, so mainly it’s birds and trees. I find it peaceful and inspiring.
But to be honest, where I write is more than where I sit and type out my books.
In a lot of ways, my writer’s workspace is my hometown, Erie, PA. Technically, it’s where I write (whether in my office or on the couch) and it’s the setting for most of my stories. Occasionally I’ve moved a story just across the border into Ohio or New York, but even my settings in those states are bumping up against Lake Erie.
Why do I set so many books here?
I grew up in Erie county and have spent most of my adult life in the city of Erie proper. It’s home. And it’s easy to set books someplace I know so intimately. But more than that, I happen to think Erie is an amazing place. We have Presque Isle, with its fantastic beaches, hiking trails and lagoons. Erie has big city amenities and a small town feel. From great theater productions at the Warner and the Erie Playhouse, to a champion hockey team, the Erie Otters, to... Okay, now I’m sounding like a travel brochure. You can visit www.visiteriepa.com if you want one of those.
Why I write in Erie is really more than the convenience of knowing the town. It’s more than the fact that Erie offers me such a wide variety settings from the city, to farms in the county, to beaches, to vineyards . . .
No, the biggest reason I write in and about Erie is I love my hometown. I’m not the only one. Amazon ranked Erie as one of America’s most romantic cities (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-20-most-romantic-cities-in-america-they-may-surprise-you/) three years in a row. I’m not saying I’m responsible for that, but I’ve set romances in Erie for fifteen years and introduced it to more than twenty-five countries through my books. Is it a coincidence??
All three of this year’s new releases (Carry Her Heart, Her Second-Chance Family and These Three Words) are set in and around Erie. All were pretty much written on my couch with my two prima donna dogs snuggled up next to me. I have to confess, I feel as if I have one of the most wonderful writer’s workspaces around!
Are you inspired by the places that you live? Do you set your novels in places that you've been, or do you prefer to explore other places? Join the debate in the comments!
To explore Erie some more, check out Holly's latest SuperRomance novel, Her Second Chance Family:
If it wasn't for the tragic accident ten years earlier, Audrey Smith might never have taken in the three foster kids she loves so dearly. And if it wasn't for the new addition to her home—a troubled teenage thief—she wouldn't be fantasizing about Sawyer Williams.
Make no mistake—Sawyer's the victim here. He's the one who was robbed by Audrey's daughter. But teaching the teen a lesson rather than punishing her makes Sawyer a superhero in Audrey's eyes. Someone who can forgive and forget… That is until another break-in rocks their community, threatening Audrey's family and her future with Sawyer.