Today I welcome Crooked Cat author, Lynn Forth to my blog for the second in my series of blog posts on the theme of setting. Thanks for joining in, Lynn!
Tell me about the setting for Love in La La Land
Thank you, Tora, for asking about the locations of my novels as, in each one of them, the setting plays an important role in the both character development and plot. Love in La La Land, as the name suggests, is set in in the glamorous film world of Hollywood. My writer heroine, Jane, a down-to-earth Yorkshire girl, soon feels like a fish out of water as she swims in the shark pool of Tinsel Town (Hmmn …is that a mixed metaphor …sorry).
In my next novel, Love Lies and Café au Lait, (spookily published this next Halloween), my heroine, Annie Roberts, swaps rain-swept Accrington for stylish Nice and has to find her feet there.
My current WIP is set on the Costa del Sol so I’m basking in the virtual sunshine there at the moment.
Was it inspired by a real place?
All my novels are set in real places. As a reader I love to escape to sunny locations and imagine what it would be like to actually live there, so enjoy doing the same as a writer. I also like to challenge my heroines by making them face situations on their own, which happens when you are a stranger in a new place.
How did you research the area, and did you refer to maps or plans when writing the story?
Although I have been to San Francisco and a few other places in America, I have to confess I have never actually been to Hollywood, so for Love in La La Land I had to do a fair bit of research. But as you can do a virtual tour of stars’ homes and wander down the streets of L A on your computer, it wasn’t difficult to do. A lot of my reviewers assume I have in fact been there and have commented on how well I capture the atmosphere, heat and general atmosphere of L.A, which is rather pleasing.
On the other hand, Nice, the setting for my second novel, Love Lies and Café au Lait, is one of my favourite places in France and I have been there often. The story was inspired by my first ever visit to Nice when, like my character Annie, I had an epiphany of delight at sitting in a café in the sun in such a wonderful place. I hope I have done justice to what an amazing location the Riviera is to explore.
Do you have any special routine, visual aids, etc to get you into the right ‘place’ when writing?
I like to wait till the afternoon to start actually writing. I have usually spent the morning warming up to it as I go about all the daily jobs, or exercising at Zumba classes or attending meetings etc. Then after lunch I feel the rest of the day and evening is mine to write the words that have been tumbling through my head all morning.
What’s the first book you read where the setting made a vivid impression?
As a child I usually had two books on the go, an upstairs one and a downstairs one, so wherever I was I could snatch a few minutes reading time. As a small child I devoured a whole series of fairy stories from many different lands. Later I do remember loving the self-sufficiency of The Children of the New Forest as they survived on their own and evaded the dangers of the Civil War raging around them.
Have you ever chosen a book purely based on its setting? If so, what was it and why did the setting appeal?
I often choose novels books about places I am about to visit, for example Helen Dunmore’s The Siege before I went to St Petersburg and Girl with a Pearl Earring before I went to Amsterdam and Delft. Also, prior to a recent big trip to Australia and New Zealand, I read lots of books set there, both novels and Bill Bryson’s excellent Down Under.
I’m hoping readers might want to save themselves a journey and choose my books if they want to be transported to faraway places or, like me, use them as inspiration to escape to distant sunny climes.
About the Author
I’ve had a lifelong fascination with words and people, leading me to study English and Psychology at University. Later, as a lecturer at a local College, I tried to pass on my love of words and learning itself, to students of all ages. Perhaps I succeeded a bit as, in 2007, I was thrilled to receive a National Star Award for Outstanding Teaching at a glittering ceremony in London. A very proud moment indeed.
As a word lover, I am obviously an avid reader and I have kept a book diary for decades recording personal critiques of all the novels I’ve read. And, related to this, is my love of discussing books, so I run two Book Groups. These are not the much- satirised posey wine drinking meetings, but are full of people as passionate about books as I am, so discussions are warm, frank, funny and always enlightening.
As you can probably tell from the title and subject matter of my debut novel, Love in La La Land, I also love films and belong to a local film club where we view and discuss a vast range of foreign and unusual films.
As I like setting my novels in foreign climes, so I obviously need to travel to research various locations such as frequent visits to Nice and the Costa del Sol, the setting for my third novel. .
Although not a big exercise fan, I do enjoy dancing and music so combine the two enthusiastically in my twice weekly Zumba sessions.
I do like gardening as well. I’m a profusionist and love planting so many flowers that you can’t see the weeds.
Facebook Page: Lynn Forth
Author Page: Lynn Forth Author
My book is available as both eBook and paperback from Amazon myBook.to/LoveinLaLaLand1
Love in La La Land
In the city of stars, will English author, Jane Jones, come to earth with a bump? Or can she write her own happy ending?
Excited to be in glitzy, glamorous Hollywood, Jane is thrilled by the prospect of seeing a scene from her novel being filmed and starring screen heart throb, Scott Flynn. Too bad, she is accompanied by the cynical Jack Clancy, the screenwriter who has ruined her story but seems totally unrepentant about all the changes.
Both men seem intent on pursuing her. But do they have ulterior motives? Is Jane a mere pawn in a game between two fierce rivals?
In the sleazy world of La La Land’s glittering parties, hovering paparazzi, and powerful movie tycoons, Jane begins to feel adrift.
She must quickly learn who can be trusted…and who can’t.
My writing, research and any other randomness that seems like a good idea at the time.