Smart Girls Read Romance

Smart Girls Read Romance -- so do the bestselling and award-winning Authors who write this blog.
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Location, Location, Location

Finding a location in which to plop our characters has tremendous bearing on the story, but can be a bit of a dilemma for the author. Several elements come into play and must be considered. For instance what is the time period? Is the story a historical, contemporary, or futuristic? Is the story a time travel or paranormal?

I decided early on and stated on my blog that all my stories would take place in my native state of Texas. This worked for me because first and foremost I'm comfortable writing about Texas and would need little additional research. Next, the state has any terrain I might need for any time period and with its multiple areas to choose from, each story can be unique unto itself.

When it came time to choose an area in which to base my Texas Code Series, the natural choice for me was right here in North Central Texas. The history of the Bennings and McTiernans started back in 1859 when Ian Benning and Dermot McTiernan came from Ireland with its political unrest to start their lives anew in Texas with the land grant amended in 1850. The Texas Emigration and Land Company offered 160 acres to single men, plus a free cabin, seed, and musket balls.


North Central Texas Land - Peters Colony


The two men received their land located north of Dallas in the originally named Peters Colony. Each generation will have a chance to tell their stories in and around the fictitious town of McTiernan, along with the ever changing landscape that will either be a blessing or a challenge all the way to present day when the first novel, CODE OF HONOR, takes place.

El Paso, far west Texas, a beautiful area of desert and Mountains, is the location of, Book Two, CODE OF CONSCIENCE. CODE OF JUSTICE, Book Three, is set in Dallas, back in North Central Texas, and Book Four, CODE OF LAW, may be in the lush land of The Hill Country.
 El Paso, Texas and the Franklin Mountains
                                                        Dallas, Texas, City Skyline

Two other areas of this great state range from the mountains of Big Bend, to the coast at Galveston. 
 Big Bend National Park

Galveston, Texas
Anyway, you see what I mean about the choice of location. My stories could be located anywhere in our beautiful country. The details might change depending which area is chosen and that has the potential to redirect a storyline. My choice was logical for me and I hope resonates well with you the reader.
Thank you for visiting with Smart Girls Read Romance today. I hope you'll leave a comment to tell me your thoughts on this subject. Love hearing from you!

 CODE OF HONOR can be found on Amazon for kindle and print at

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  1. I love books set in Texas for the same reason, Carra. Write what you know, right? We both love the state's history as well as the contemporary settings. I loved CODE OF HONOR and eagerly await your next books.

    1. Caroline, I always have a sense of place in your novels. Your descriptions make me feel as if I'm right there with the brides in your Men of Stone Mountain Series or with the Kincaids. Great job!

  2. Wow, what great pics and story locations. I've never been to Texas, but my ancestor, Sam Houston, was the state's first Governor. Code of Honor is a super title and sounds really good.

    1. Thanks, Beth, and you know we were kinda fond of your ancestor, Sam. He did a few things to help us out. ;-)

      I hope you get a chance to read Graeme and Maggie's story.

  3. Carra--here's another way we work alike. Everything I write is set in Texas, and I state that on my website and my blog, and even my tag line is Romance...and a little bit of Texas. Someone asked me once why I set everything in Texas, and my answer was, because it's what I know--from the terrain, to the flora and fauna, I know Texas...and it's history, too.
    Why would I want to set a story in Minneapolis? Or Boston? Or San Francisco? I've visited all those places and many more, but that doesn't mean I know enough about them.
    I sort of envy authors who can skip from some state to say, Ireland or London, etc. Once again, I've toured all over Europe and beyond, but my goodness, I couldn't set a story in any of those places.
    Also,....I don't want to.
    You have said it perfectly well--we have more places to place a story in Texas to last a lifetime.
    Very good!

  4. Thank you, Celia. You have it over me in that I haven't traveled to but a few places here in the States and no where abroad. Another reason for me to stay right here, I guess.

    I think when it gets cooler, we should meet and have a cup of coffee!

  5. Carra, your Texas roots go deep, so I'm not surprised you want to write about this great big, beautiful state. I'm based here too, and I love our varied terrain and people, but I enjoy skipping off to far away places in my imagination. My next book is set in Ireland, one of my great loves.

    I love Code of Honor and am looking forward to your next book.

  6. Glad you stopped by today, Lyn. I love your books and waiting patiently for the next one. Write faster! ;)

  7. I lived in Texas for a while and I thought it was a wonderful place to live and full of history and very friendly people.
    I wish you every success with Code of Honor, Carra.

  8. Sarah, come on back to Texas when you can, we're still here and we'll leave the light on! Thanks for your good wishes!

  9. Interesting post Carra! When I started out all my books were going to be in Oregon. Well, they've expanded to the Pacific Northwest and soon Alaska. ;)

    Texas is an interesting state. My sister-in-law lives out of Killeen and we've visited her a couple of times. Before that she lived in El Paso and we visited there once.

  10. Carra, setting is of much importance in a book because it can immediately ground a reader and set up certain expectations that the writer can validate or contradict, creating tension. Most of my books are set in the South with a majority in Texas. I use my favorite Texas cities and fictional small towns. I'm a small town girl and intimately know the charm and pitfalls of small town life.


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