More Somer breeze
"My books are not tourist guidebooks," Somer declared. Some crime novels, he said, express their sense of place through description, but "Istanbul is a personality in my books. It reflects ideas, feelings." To that end, he said he once turned down a request to give a visitor a tour of his novels' Istanbul and took the visitor for coffee instead. "What am I going to do, take them to transvestite nightclubs?"
At the same time, Somer appreciates the eye that a tourist or traveller can bring. "An observing eye," he said. "Even what we observe going for one day is valuable." This reminds me of Michael Genelin's remark at Bouchercon this year that a visitor may sometimes pick up details that a resident would miss because they are so commonplace.
With Somer's remark about Istanbul in mind, how can an author create a sense of place other than by taking readers sightseeing?
© Peter Rozovsky 2009