Where do you go to find romance?
Setting my stories is one of the most pleasurable aspects of writing. Butterfly is a contemporary romantic comedy that takes place in and around Boston and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
This part of the country has always been a literary center. Some of my favorite books were written there: The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, Little Women, as well as poetry and essays by our nation’s most brilliant minds.
Butterfly opens in the Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston. The pub where most of the story unfolds is based on a real place a few blocks from the Quincy Market. I have walked those streets, stepped into that pub, chatted with the locals. I tried to make my interpretation of the setting as believable as possible. If you are a Red Sox fan, it might please you to know that the game where Cade takes Flannery on their first date was a real game. If you are not into baseball, it’s still a fun scene full of humor and sexual tension. Sexual tension at a baseball game? Hmmn…interesting.
It is not a requirement to have actually traveled to the place where one sets a novel. I am privileged to be able to travel quite a bit. But, I’ve also traveled virtually, via Google Earth, maps and satellite imagery, to get an orientation to places and figure out where my character is walking or driving. I also use airline and bus schedules, calendars, tide tables, and charts that tell the rising and setting of the sun and moon in a specific place to keep my make-believe world as accurate as possible. These details might not ever be important to a reader, but as an author, I think I write better if my make believe world is intact.
Though my stories usually start as character studies, I am often inspired by a place. In a way, the setting becomes a character. O’Fallon’s Pub is a major player in Butterfly and the next book in the trilogy, Angel’s Share. For the third part of this series, I am taking the story back to Ireland. Selkie’s Song is set in a village on the coast of North County Clare, undeniably one of the most beautiful and compelling sites for a love story.
If you are curious about the settings that inspired my Fadó Trilogy, I hope you will stop by my website, www.clareaustin.com and www.myspace.com/clare_austin. If you wish to contact me personally, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t be shy…I love to chat with people about writing, books, music and places that inspire romance.
Butterfly is available in paperback as well as e-book and Kindle formats. Angel’s Share will be available March 2010.
Reviews of Clare Austin’s novels:
“The musical imagery in BUTTERFLY makes the story sing with magic that encompasses the senses of the reader. It reveals sadness, joy, hope, and deep, hidden needs--physical, spiritual, and emotional. Enchanting reading!”
Camelia, The Long and The Short of it Reviews
“In ANGEL’S SHARE Ms. Austin has created a fast paced, suspenseful tale, full of twists and unexpected turns, and a love story that will touch your heart.”
~Kate Stevenson, author of Witness…And Wife? And A Piece of Tomorrow, Silhouette Intimate Moments
And, Hot Flash, a stand-alone novel due for release in 2010
"Sexy but sensitive, powerful but poignant--HOT FLASH is not your daughter's romance! This is a story for real women. Savor every word!"
~Award-Winning Author, Deb Stover