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3 June 2015

Guest Post by Lisa Dickenson!

One of my favourite authors of the moment has to be Lisa Dickenson. I don't know if you have read her novels 'The Twelve Dates of Christmas' and 'You Had Me At Merlot', but if you haven't you need to go out and read them straight away, because you've been missing out on something! Lisa's novels never disappoint and always make me laugh. Her latest release 'Catch Me If You Cannes' is out now and I'm both honoured and excited to have a special guest post from Lisa herself on the blog today in which she talks about locations for her books!

Setting the scene
By Lisa Dickenson

Why do you read?  Is it to fill in time?  To relax you before you sleep?  To brighten a dreary commute?  To keep you company on a well-deserved holiday?  Or just so you sink into the lovely feeling of being on a new journey with some with some wonderful new people?  All of these reasons have one thing in common: reading takes you somewhere.  And whether you’re reading or you’re writing, it’s all about Location, Location, Location.

I think Chick Lit does this especially well.  You walk into Waterstones, head for the rom-coms, and it’s like standing at the shelves of a travel agent.  Fancy a city break?  How about the Big Apple with I’ll Take New York (Miranda Dickinson)?  Try some luxe LA-living with Shopaholic to the Stars (Sophie Kinsella), or relax in the UK countryside with Ivy Lane (Cathy Bramley).  An ocean-view can be found in the pages of The Paradise Room (Belinda Jones) or Catch Me If You Cannes (me :)).  I could go on, and on, and on…

To truly transport you lovely readers, I like to try and evoke smells and feelings and sounds as well as the look of a place.  When writing The Twelve Dates of Christmas I wanted people to read it and feel unabashedly, categorically Christmassy.  I picked London because it’s so steeped in history you can practically hear Charles Dickens stamping his feet on the cobblestones and blowing into his fingerless gloves beneath a gas lamp.  For You Had Me at Merlot I wanted readers gagging for a glass of wine and dripping in imaginary Tuscan sun sweat!  Which is a lovely image.  For Catch Me If You Cannes I wanted everyone to see, like I did, how accessible, charming and pretty a place it was, whilst also having that air of Hollywood charm.  For this book, the holiday came first and the story after.  I needed a few days away, and had always fancied Cannes and its glamour, and by the end of the trip, and the end of several bottles of the local rosé, I’d decided I didn’t want to let this place go.  I had worked out a story based at the Cannes Film Festival, and how a couple of ‘normal girls’ may struggle to fit in.  Belinda Jones once wrote in Divas Las Vegas something that’s really stayed with me, about how sometimes a location you love can feel like another room in your house; you may not go in there for a while but when you do it still feels like home.  When I love a place I want to keep it alive and reachable in my mind; I want to live there through my characters, and I want readers to love it in just the same way I do.

I have a lot of locations in mind to write about in the future, including New York, LA, a coastal town in Devon and hopefully many more places around the world.  How about you?  Where do you want to go today?

Thanks so much, Lisa!

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