Author Pamela Hearon on putting your story in its place

Today, I am pleased to welcome author Pamela Hearon to the Magical Musings blog. Pamela writes contemporary romances for Harlequin Superromance. Take it away, Pamela:


Pamela Hearon Author PhotoA week-long seminar on The Poetry of Place pounded the importance of setting into a prominent section of my writing brain (and obviously a penchant for alliteration, as well). Setting ghost stories in old deserted houses and romances with views of the ocean places the reader into a place with a familiar personality, giving instant connection to emotions already in place. Just think of the places you’ve been that stand out as the most memorable, and you’ll understand how much personality setting can have.

I tend to think of setting as a ubiquitous giant of a character who pulls and tugs at the edges and pushes from the heart to shape the story into its most perfect form. My three most recent books from Harlequin Superromance—and the next two on the way—have just such a character named Taylor’s Grove, Kentucky.

His Kind of PerfectionWhen I started world-building the small, Western Kentucky town, I pulled from my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky, as well as other smaller towns where I’ve lived. Most important to keep in mind was how essential it was to remain true to the nature of the area.

Western Kentucky is Southern to the core in culture, language, and flavor, and what better way to personify those characteristics than the inclusion of a church, a school, and a diner? And the town is set on Kentucky Lake, so, of course, there had to be a marina.

Bit by bit, the town grew under the strokes of my fingers on the keys. With each addition of a place within the place—a street, a house, a business, the park at the center of town—the people cradled in its palm became more real to me until the town took on a personality all its own.

My giant was born.

Most surprising to me, though probably it shouldn’t have been, has been the realization that Taylor’s Grove is a dynamic entity that changes, grows, and adapts with each story to keep from being left behind and forgotten like those sad old ghost towns out West.

Change isn’t easy and certainly not always welcome, but it’s a fact of life we all face and a necessity, even for my gentle giant. And so, the giant stands tall and stretches its arms, pushing the boundaries that one time confined it … and making me one very proud mama.

My Way Back to YouThe world of Taylor’s Grove has become an integral part of these stories—just like a supporting character—so important actually, that the story would change if the town disappeared in a flood or if I tried to set the stories anywhere else. I see the town vividly in my mind and strive to make the reader see it through my eyes—strive to breathe life into the community so the reader thinks of it as a good friend and wants to come back again and again.

Just like in the real world, Taylor’s Grove has to compete with “bigger and better” places that offer more excitement. My books don’t take place only in the little village. That would be boring … and there is a whole world out there.

But Taylor’s Grove is the place my characters come home to, welcoming them with warm, giant hugs.

Some stay and some leave, but Taylor’s Grove stays in their hearts forever.

I hope you’ll plan a visit. Any of my Taylor’s Grove books will take you there, but they might be more fun to visit in the order they were written so you can experience those growth spurts the town has gone through.

Moonlight in ParisBook 1—Moonlight in Paris

Book 2—His Kind of Perfection

Book 3—My Way Back to You

Book 4—Right Where We Started (coming Dec. 1)

Book 5—TBA (coming Spring 2016)


Although she now makes the Midwest her home, Pamela Hearon will forever remain a Southern gal. Born and raised in Kentucky, the values, humor, and dialects of the South infuse her writing with down-home warmth—no matter how exotic the setting.

Writing was always one of Pamela’s favorite past-times. Childhood stories and angst-filled teenage poetry eventually led the way to book-length fiction—and the past-time began a passion.

Pamela is an avid reader, gardener, and enjoys traveling with her husband, searching for that next story that begs to be written.

Visit Pamela at her website:

Like her Facebook Page:

(The Sign Up form for her Newsletter is at the top of that page. See it? It says SIGN UP.)

Prefer Twitter? She’s there, too!


For a chance to win an autographed set of the first three books in the Taylor’s Grove series (US/Canada only), tell Pamela a book setting you’ve read that has a personality you can’t forget. To enter, use the form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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19 Responses to Author Pamela Hearon on putting your story in its place

  1. Mary Hughes says:

    Hi Jennifer and Pamela,

    Welcome, Pamela! I love the idea of setting as a gentle giant of a character (not all of them are always gentle, lol). Taylor’s Grove sounds like a perfect setting to welcome home romance! Thanks for the giveaway 🙂 and congratulations on your most recent My Way Back to You and your upcoming release of Right Where We Started!

    • Hi Mary! You’re right about some settings not being gentle giants–some are downright deadly! But Taylor’s Grove is a great place to grow up and fall in love 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. Edie Ramer says:

    Pamela, I love your writing on this blog, and I’m sure I’d love it in your books, too! I’ve been to Kentucky, and the people there were so friendly. My husband and I remember that trip fondly. Congrats on your releases. I’m going to check out your books now. 🙂

    • Awww, thanks so much for your kind words, Edie. I’ve always felt that Kentucky doesn’t get the attention it deserves–such a gorgeous, friendly place. I decided I would do my little part to bring it some attention 😉
      So glad you stopped by today!

  3. Hi Pam! You are SO right about the setting. I have to confess that I usually write and then go back add in more scenery.

    Nice observations.

    See you soon!

  4. I’ve never considered what setting may be attractive and popular to the reader. For me it usually comes from the character and situation. You’ve introduced me to another perspective. Thanks!

    Wishing you all the best with this series. It sounds delightful.

  5. Pamela Hearon says:

    I aim to please, Larissa:-) Glad I made you think. That’s the retired teacher in me coming out!

  6. Larena Hubble says:

    Lori Wilde’s Stardust Texas and Cupid Texas series have small towns that seem to be their one character. It makes for a great part of the series.

  7. Carla Brooks says:

    I would love to win the set of books. I have not read any of them but also come from small town USA.

  8. Welcome to MM, Pamela! I write historical novels, and have to create places that did once exist, but no longer do, so I know exactly what you’re talking about when you say you build it all in your head and have a clear image of it.
    Michelle Diener`s last blog was …Book Blitz: Dark Horse

    • Pamela Hearon says:

      That could be a daunting task, Michelle, without a fabulous imagination! How much fun it must be though, recreating those places!

  9. Christy says:

    Hmm. I can’t think of a specific fictional place, but I do tend to be drawn to books with a small town setting. Your books sound right up my alley! Thanks for the chance!

    • Pamela Hearon says:

      There’s just something about those small town romances, Christy. We get to know the townspeople like they’re old friends. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Debora Dale says:

    Oh Pam, this was a wonderful post – I can almost feel the mood of Taylor’s Grove even here! And I completely agree, setting is definitely a character in its own right. It influences the attitude of its inhabitants and anchors the reader in a new time and place. It doesn’t even have to be an exotic location, just “real”, with real sounds and scents and beauty – and maybe some grunge thrown in for balance. 🙂

    Many years ago, I read a pirate romance (I hate to say it, but I can’t remember the author or book title) and it was set in Port Royale. I remember taking out an atlas to see if the area really existed, it was that vivid in the story. Ha. So vivid I remember the location and nothing else. 🙄
    Debora Dale`s last blog was …Blue Satin Sashes – a writing prompt

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