Writers who set books away from home — and why they do it
Over the years I've asked such authors what they see in their chosen settings that a local might miss, or what they might miss that locals take for granted, and I wrote the introduction to a book of essays on the subject (Christopher G. Moore's The Cultural Detective). But not until last night did I think to ask such a writer why she had chosen the country she did.
Turns out that Cara Black, currently in Philadelphia for an American Library Association convention, has ties to France that long predate her Aimée Leduc novels. Her father introduced her to Jacques Tati movies. An uncle had literary ties to the country. Nuns from the Society of the Sacred Heart taught her a mildly archaic French that would later bemuse the children of her hosts on visits to France. There's more to her attraction to Paris, that is, than the Eiffel Tower and bargains on designer clothes.
So now I'll assume that every such writer has stories of his or her own, that there is a reason he or she writes about the Greek islands rather than the south of France, or Italy rather than Spain, or vice versa. Ladies and gentlemen, this is a Bouchercon panel waiting to happen.
© Peter Rozovsky 2014