Helen’s Newsletter

setting

Setting Research

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy.

One of my great pleasures in writing a new story is researching the setting. If I’m really lucky I get to visit the place I plan to set my book. In pursuit of research, I’ve visited Ireland twice for my paranormal series, the Italian Amalfi coast, which features in a contemporary romance, Finally Home, due out from Carina in September, and the Island of Jersey in the English Channel for Unbreak My Heart.

The setting research for my most recent release, Oceans Between Us, proved a bit of a challenge, as the story included so many places. It starts in London, then moves on to a small Cornish fishing village. I had no problem with these settings as I live in England. The action then goes to New York, a city I’d love to visit, but haven’t yet. I had to depend on the Internet for my research, and my son’s observations as he’d recently visited NY. My hero and heroine finally end up in his home town on the Italian Riviera in Riomaggiore one of five small towns that make up the Cinque Terre or five lands. These are beautiful multicolored towns that are stacked precariously up the cliffs in small bays on the rocky coast.

I would have loved to physically visit this area of Italy as it looks stunning, but time and finances didn’t give me the chance. Instead I turned to the internet again for details on Riomaggiore. What a treasure trove of information there is available to writers on the web! I even found a video shot by a tourist who’d walked around the town, giving a virtual tour.