Exotic Locations

the colour of magicI’m really excited that I’m going to have a new book out soon. Like my other three books, it’s an historical novel, but the setting for this one is a little different. It’s set in Zululand, which is on the east coast of South Africa, and just happens to be where I grew up.

It was really daunting for me to sit down and write this book. I really wanted to do it justice and get it just right.

And it is funny for me, because I have been told, repeatedly, that the exotic location of the book means it might not appeal to a wide audience. The book is set in the Victorian period, at the start of the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879, and while I realize that the vast majority of my audience will be American or British, to me, this is home, not some exotic location at all.

I hope I can make readers fall as much in love with my childhood stomping ground as I am.

I love all kinds of locations in books. I’m not restricted to real locations, either. JD Robb’s futuristic New York City, or Nalini Singh’s futuristic San Francisco are just as appealing. As is Tolkein’s Middle Earth, or the space setting for Iain M. Banks’ Culture series. Don’t even get me STARTED about the Disc World. I would risk a walk down an Anhk-Morpork alley with an unlicensed assassin to get into Terry Pratchett’s vivid world.

So I’m interested. What locations do you love reading in books, and like me, don’t feel restricted by reality!

About Michelle Diener

Michelle Diener writes historical fiction and fantasy. To find out more about her and her novels, you can visit her website.
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13 Responses to Exotic Locations

  1. Edie Ramer says:

    I’m excited about your new book coming out soon, too. I love it! I think a lot of readers will agree, and it will be on a lot of favorite lists.

    An exotic places I fell in love with many years ago was Anne McCaffrey’s Pern. I think it was the dragons that made me pick up the first one. 🙂

    • Edie, it’s been so long, I don’t remember Pern that well, but I do remember enjoying it!

      And thank you. You and Liz helped to make Daughter of the Sky a better book.

  2. Misty Evans says:

    I think Zululand sounds like a great location, Michelle. Congrats on the upcoming book!

    I like any kind of underworld. The kind in urban fantasies and paranormal realms that are worlds within our own, but hidden. I’m not a big sci-fi fan in books, but I love it in movies like Star Trek and Star Wars.

  3. Dale Mayer says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Major congrats on the new book!

    I have no doubt you will make your readers fall in love with your childhood stomping ground. That love will shine in your writing!
    Dale Mayer`s last blog was …Garden of Sorrow Barrage!

  4. Amy Atwell says:

    Michelle, the new book sounds wonderful! I remember reading The Far Pavilions year ago, and I loved losing myself in India. I love books that give me a real feel for the setting. And I can’t be the only one who wishes she’d gone to school at Hogwarts, right?
    Amy Atwell`s last blog was …Villains We Love To Hate

  5. Michelle,
    I’ve loved the other books you’ve written and know this new one will be just as wonderful! As far as settings, Australia used to seem very exotic to me :). But I had the pleasure of going there and meeting people I really liked. AFS (the organization I’d been a part of for my student exchange to Brisbane) had a saying: “Turn places into faces.” So, when I think of places around the world that I’ve loved, I almost always remember a few faces of people I’d met… I’d love to read more novels set in Australia, btw!!
    Marilyn Brant`s last blog was …New (Romantic) Book Trailer!

    • Marilyn, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

      And yes, making a place personal is one way never to forget it.

      If you love Aussie set stories, you should check out my friend Rachel Johns books. As Aussie as they get. 🙂

  6. Liz Kreger says:

    I just so happen to know that your new book is fantastic. You made the “exotic” location come to life for me even though I’d never been there.

    Like Edie, I think Pern really piqued my interest in worlds other than the familiar. Naturally, when reading, you have a certain comfort level for what you know. But in a lot of the UFs I read, they might be either futuristic, or in a little town that I’ve never heard of. Does that make it “exotic”? Depends on the author and her or his talent at world building.

  7. Amy R says:

    Hi Michelle! Because I don’t travel much outside the Midwest, pretty much any location outside of the Midwest is appealing to me. I especially love to hear about locations outside the US in general. I get to live vicariously through the books I read! Looking forward to another book of yours!

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