Location, location, location

Why do we write about someplace else?

The places that are emotionally resonant often end up in our books.

Jo Frances Penn on Books and Travel podcast

I live on the east coast of Australia but write about elsewhere. My first novel, novella, memoir and short stories are set in Paris even though I have spent less that 6 months there over the entire span of my life. Mimi Gets Away with Murder, my second novel (work in progress) is set in LA while my third novel (also a work in progress called The Circle) is set in England around Somerset and London.

hubby and I braving the elements

Like a lot of people I am fascinated by Stonehenge and the other neo-lithic and ancient sites across the UK. My family heritage is from England and Ireland so it’s probably obvious that the country would resonate with me. I’ve been to Stonehenge and Avebury, Glastonbury, Bath, Salisbury…all over Wiltshire and Somerset. I am sure I must have some kind of ancestral tie to the area. Why France? I have no familial ties to France and have been obsessed with the place since my early teens.

how did it get it so smooth? In the Louvre with Johannes Vermeer…sigh

For the love of God can someone please explain why I love LA! I’ve visited Los Angeles just once but fell in love with the place which is so strange considering I would have previously thought it pretty much stands for everything I think is wrong with the world… There’s something about the light in LA. I love the palm trees, the hills, the proximity to the ocean, the architecture, the people, the vibe, the food. I loved Palm Springs, which makes an appearance in Mimi too. Mimi and her sister Nicole stay in their mid century home in Palm Springs to hide from the media…and I know just the house to film in when someone wants to make the movie…

The Kaufman House in Palm Springs made famous by photographer Slim Aarons in his iconic Desert House series. We visited the house but could only peer over the fence like plebs.

I don’t have the slightest desire to write about Australia…even though it is a gorgeous place. Maybe one day!


  1. Gershon Ben-Avraham

    Christine, one of the beautiful things about writing is its freedom to move through time and space. Meister Eckhart, in one of his sermons, describes our independence from the limitations of space. “In the head of the soul, in the intellect, I am as close to a point located a thousand miles beyond the sea as I am to the place where I am presently standing.” (Translated by Oliver Davies.) Go where you want to go!

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