Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Importance of Location

Buy Remember Me HERE
By Amaleen Ison

When I wrote my newest release, Remember Me, I didn’t pay much attention to location other than details that affected plot: a remote cabin in a forested area, deep snow, and sub-zero temperatures. My main character has amnesia, so I thought I could be vague on specifics. It was only when my editor asked where the story was set that I considered the question for the first time. My initial response was, “Does it matter?”

“Yes,” she said, firmly. “It does.”

And she was right!

I’d created a bizarre hybrid setting, incorporating a fictitious landscape with Artic weather conditions and British buildings and transport. My first person narrator spoke in British English, and perversely, the one thing I knew with certainty was the story was not set in Britain. When I realized what I’d done, I turned a little pink—actually a lot pink.

Thank goodness for editors.

I subsequently spent a great deal of time researching countries that would provide the right terrain, extreme temperatures, annual snow fall, and remote location.

Finally, I settled on Interior Alaska, and so began an edit that changed everything British to American. The remote, thatched stone cottage became a log cabin, oak trees morphed into fir trees, and I downsized the family Landrover to a Ski-Doo. The list of changes went on and on, not to mention the addition of indigenous wildlife and natural phenomenon. If I hadn’t realised the importance of location before, I certainly did after that round of edits.

So after all the effort my editor and I put in to make the setting authentic, you can imagine my delight when I discovered the following review just a few days after Remember Me was published.

“The biggest thing the author did right was in describing the state of Alaska. I live here and the author nailed it. I'm a very hard sell having lived here since I was sixteen, but in her story you'll feel the bitter sting of winter (and it's a unique achy feeling you'll get in few other places).” – Goodreads Review

To celebrate the release of my novella, I’m hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a $20 Amazon gift card and a copy of Remember Me. Sign up below for your chance to win.

Remember Me:
Sera isn’t living. She’s existing—barely. Bedbound by illness, she has no memory of life before the freezing barn she now calls home. A mournful song haunts her dreams and hints at a past not completely buried—one she’s desperate to uncover. Yet Father’s whirlwind visits to draw blood and administer medication don’t provide answers. He only confirms the one thing she already knows; she’s dying.
A lonely death without ever knowing her past seems inevitable until a sudden, mystifying return to health coincides with the arrival of a boy in the opposite out-building. The inextricable pull to the stranger, and the broken memories that storm her mind when he’s near, warn of a history quite different to any she could have imagined. If she’s to uncover the truth she craves, she’ll have to decide whether knowledge of the past is worth forfeiting her second chance at life.


Susan W. said...

A friend of mine lived in Alaska for a few years and loved it there. I've wanted to go there myself. Maybe one day. Until then I'll just enjoy it through books. Thanks for the giveaway!


Barbara Elsborg said...

I'd like to go to Alaska too but it looks like it has to be a cruise and I don't want to cruise. I do love stories set in the snow though!!!

Amaleen Ison said...

Alaska is one place I'd love to visit, too, especially since writing Remember Me. Thank you for your comments Susan and Barbara.

Anonymous said...

Where is the rafflecopter link//widget to enter?