For example, in Canary Kate recalls early days spent sitting with her mom and brother watching her dad coach basketball. I grew up watching my dad coach his teams, playing with my My Little Ponies on the bleachers and shooting tennis balls into the nets just like Kate does. Kate watches her mom slip away at a hospice similar to the Hospice of the Western Reserve, where I volunteered with students from my school. My places are vivid and full of the emotion I felt when I was a part of that location. I feel like my characters become a part of my experience when I invite them into the same world I inhabited.
In my new book, Circles Within Circles, much of the action takes place in fields behind my main character Karen’s house. These fields are the same fields I ran through when I was in Japan staying in a little city called Katsuyama.
(This is the view of the mountains above to fields I ran through every day for a week. If you look up at the top on the left and right, you can see Japanese shrines. It was one of the most amazing places I've ever been in my life).
I remember running in these fields and thinking that this may be a place I would never return to. It was a little remote town that my group stayed at for a week during my Fulbright trip. It wasn’t a major city, it wasn’t easy to get to and the idea that I was in a place that I probably would never ever be again overwhelmed me. However, I was able to make these fields alive again in my story and much like I did, Karen and her sister race through these fields, fields that become the central point to the story.
Location to me is vivid and real. My characters walk in paths that I have entered before, and it feels incredible when I can view the world in a whole new way through my character’s eyes.
What about you? Do you use personal locations in your story? Tell me about them!