Monday, 15 May 2017

Small Towns as Setting


Kerrie Paterson Guest Post

Kerrie Paterson writes contemporary women's fiction and small town romance—stories about women in their 40s and above who have reached a crossroads in their life. She loves to write about women’s relationships with their friends and family, as well as their romances.

When she’s not writing, she’s a Scout leader, crew for a local drama theatre, taxi driver for her teenage son and keeper of the family knowledge (aka ‘Mum, have you seen my camera / phone / cable etc?’). In her spare time (ha!), she's a yoga student, keen photographer and avid reader.

Kerrie lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia.


A Reader's Query


I'd love to read a topic centred around writing romance with a small town setting. I'm curious about how you create your settings and how you make what happens there so believable.

Why Do I Write About Small Towns?


I’m not sure where my love of the small town setting comes from, but possibly it’s due to the fact that the first ten years of my life were spent growing up in a small town outside Cessnock, NSW. I’m not sure of exact figures but I’m guessing it had a population of around 300 at that time. We had the local servo/corner store, one primary school with only a couple of teachers, the pub and not much more! (And we had an outdoor toilet!) Even Cessnock itself was basically a small town in the 70s and 80s. I remember when the first set of traffic lights were installed and the first takeaway chain arrived in the town!

I also spent a fair bit of time on my aunt and uncle’s property growing up, so while I’m a townie, I’ve got some idea of what it’s like to live out of town.

I’m personally drawn to reading books set in small towns, so I guess it seemed natural to me to write books with that setting. I like to make the town and its people as much a part of the story as the hero and heroine.


Hope Creek and Jacaranda Avenue

The towns of Hope Creek and Jacaranda Avenue in Langbrooke in my books are physically both based on small towns near where I live, with some changes to suit my story. If I don’t use buildings that are already in the actual town, I google images until I find something that suits what I have in mind and pin in to my pinterest boards. I also draw a map (very badly!) based on the existing town and add landmarks, streets etc so I don’t forget where I’ve placed something!





I love to laugh at funny animal videos on YouTube.
I love to learn about history, especially how people lived and worked.
I love to love time spent in nature, particularly near water.

So I’d love to know – are you a small town fan or do you prefer the big city? What aspect of the setting appeals to you the most?


To find out more about Kerrie and her writing see
Pinterest - https://au.pinterest.com/kerriepaterson3/

Website - http://kerriepaterson.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/kerrie.paterson.3 and https://www.facebook.com/KerriePatersonAuthor/












16 comments:

  1. Hi Kerrie, I have to admit I love both the small town and the big city romances, depending on mood. It's easy to get lost in a big city, or be unnoticed, which can be interesting in a romance, just as it's not easy to go unnoticed in a small town... I recently read two books, The Dry and Goodwood, both set in small towns, and they were fantastic. I think I love the sense of community and the fact that either you belong or you get that square peg in a round hole phenomena. Lots of writer fodder! I'm city born and raised, but two of my children have studied at universities in country towns and both loved it - and would have stayed if there was work. But basically I'm easy to please and love books set in both locations. Thanks for writing your books, you keep writing and I'll keep enjoying!

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    1. Thanks Malvina! Yes, so much writing fodder in a small town and its community! I'll have to check out those books you mentioned.

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  2. Like you, Kerrie, I'm definitely a small town fan!!
    Malvina puts it really well about how it's not easy to go unnoticed in a small town which can create its own issues, but it also means that people pull together in times of crises. I like that part of it - it's hopeful and uplifting.
    Lovely post. I really should look at drawing a proper map of my towns too rather than keeping it all in my head.
    Thanks and all the best!

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Cathryn - we both love ourselves a fictional hero who is good with his hands (and has a great butt! :P)

      I agree with the hopeful and uplifting part of working together in times of crisis.

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  3. Hi Kerrie. I'm a huge fan of small town settings (although I've never lived in one). I just love the way small communities in books become a microcosm of life, filled with interesting issues and fabulous characters. I also love that your heroines are older women - we definitely need representation in romance!

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    1. Thanks Marilyn! Yes, they can certainly be filled with interesting characters! I think every town has its local oddball :)

      We definitely do need more representation for us more mature women! I think the tide may be starting to turn, very slowly.

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  4. I love writing and reading about small towns, but like Malvina, am also intrigued by big city stories. I actually like how a big city - in the right circumstances - has aspects similar to a little village. Small town characters though are incredibly unique. Mapping is also something important, either in the head or on paper. My fictional small town of River's End fills a sketch book. As the novel also has big city elements, I spent more than one day filling my imagination at Docklands in Melbourne. Mature ladies rock :-)

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    1. Yes a big city can definitely have aspects similar to a small village. Some neighbourhoods are very close-knit.

      Wow, a sketch book! That's impressive!

      Mature ladies do rock :) Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Hi Kerrie. I'm a city girl with the small town of my birth in my heart. I love the sense of community where everyone is there if needed and neighbours all know each other. Something sadly lacking in cities, especially as the populations grow and people live more individual lives. I love books with suspense and danger and if the setting adds to the atmosphere that's a plus. Both cities and small towns can do this so no preference in reading. But I do love stories set in the bush or forest. Probably because the small town of my childhood is on a river and surrounded by national forest.

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    1. Oh your childhood town sounds lovely! I love a river! Thanks for commenting!

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  6. Hi Kerrie, I love reading about small towns. The sense of community and history appeal to me. I also love the way you get to know major and minor characters so well then read about the minor characters romances in later novels when it is their turn to shine.

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    1. Yes, I love books where you get to revisit the town and characters again. It's like coming home!

      Thanks for the comment!

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  7. You know how big a Kerrie Paterson fan I am ;) Love your work. Your characters are warm and wonderful and that's what gives your towns heart. I love the community spirit of small towns and the history that goes with them. Every street and building has a story to tell. It's fascinating!

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    1. I'm a huge Juanita Kees fan, so that's pretty mutual :)

      As a history buff, I love buildings with a past!

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  8. Thanks for having me on your blog, ladies! It's been fun!

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    1. Thanks so much for being a guest blogger, Kerrie! We look forward to having you again in November.

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