Hope you enjoy this guest blog by Lois Winston, author of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun!
not completely truthful. If someone offered me a 2,000 sq. ft. apartment in Manhattan, I’d jump at the chance, but how
likely is that to happen?)
I like New Jersey so much that I’ve set my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries series not only in my own state but in my own town. Some people might think I’m crazy to set a series in a real suburban community, but there’s a method to my madness. I already have to keep straight all these characters who populate my books. With a real setting, I don’t have to fear messing up the layout of an imaginary town. I don’t have to worry that I set the shopping district on Broad Street in Book One but inadvertently moved it to Main Street in Book Two. Readers pick up on errors like that, and I want to keep my readers happy and reading.
But why not use the town and change the name you might ask? To which I respond, why? People love reading books set in real places, especially real places they know. With 9 million people crammed into the third smallest state in the nation, New Jersey contains many potential readers. A good percentage of those readers will be quite familiar with the town where Anastasia lives.
Another great aspect of setting my series in New Jersey is the diverse geography of the state. New Jersey is just under 48,000 square miles. While keeping Anastasia close to home, I have the opportunity to place her on the Appalachian Trail, down the shore (in New Jersey we go “down the shore” not “to the beach,”) out in horse country, or in a crime-infested inner city, all within less than an hour’s drive from her home. Not to mention being a short train commute from Manhattan. That opens all sorts of plotting opportunities for me.
If you only know about New Jersey from those reality TV shows, pick up a copy of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun and learn about the real New Jersey. And don’t worry. You’ll still laugh at us but hopefully, in a good way.