Like many of you I started this blog in part to talk about the books I love and don’t get me wrong I’ve loved every minute of it, but there is little in the way of discussion because of the absolute need not to spoil the books for others. So while we talk in broad terms about the plot and characters etc. it can all get a bit coded.
Then I had an idea!
What we can discuss is the settings of books, in particular I’m thinking of crime fiction novels set in the UK.
So what led me here, well a couple of things. If you read my wrap up post from yesterday you will know that the big attraction for me with Kate Hamer’s latest book, The Doll Funeral, is that it is set in the Forest of Dean which is where I lived from the age of nine until I left home. Better still the book is set in 1983 seen through thirteen year old Ruby’s eyes, and yes – I was thirteen in 1983. I want to see how the author depicts the area and how it adds to the story. After all a rural area like this one is very different to a bustling city. I read a piece written by Kate Hamer on how she came to choose the setting.
Around the same time Rebecca Bradley, fellow blogger and author of Shallow Waters and Made to be Broken both set in her home town of Nottingham, mentioned on social media that she was scouting out a new location for a standalone novel. I began to think I may be able to make this work, especially as in the way these things go, I began to see pieces about settings everywhere.
But I can’t do it without your help.
The idea is that you pick a book that you’ve read in a setting you know well – you don’t have to live there, and tell me about it and perhaps provide some pictures. Hopefully for some of these choices I’ll be able to persuade the author to post a little about why they chose that setting, what is it about the area that worked well, how true to life they have made it etc.
Or if you are an author you can tell me about the setting of your book, why you chose it, what the location adds to your book and perhaps whether or not you like the place. I will then source a reviewer and/or someone who knows the area to link up with you.
I’m also grateful to Susan from the wonderful The Book Trail whose whole blog revolves around worldwide locations in books in her wonderful blog who has agreed to provide a book trail map to link with the post and will feature a piece about the book on her blog too. Obviously we will both give full credit to anyone who provides material with links to your blog or author page. I’m hoping that each post will link to a variety of reviews already written. I will be sharing widely on social media and hope all contributors will too.
There will be a master page listing the various locations along with the crime fiction novel set there – I’m thinking that series may work best, but I may be proved wrong. As the list grows crime fiction lovers will be able to access the list and find a recommendation based on location.
To give an example I’ve done a mock up for my favourite series, one that I started at the beginning and eagerly anticipate each new book, it is of course Peter James‘ Roy Grace series. Now I’m not for a minute imagining that Peter James will have time to write a post for me, but in theory if I can find a blogger who knows Brighton well, and has read at least one of these books, we can do a post. We can then link to reviews of as many of the twelve books in the series so far from around the blogosphere to make for a really collaborative post. Because that is one of the aims, to get us all talking and put different views, reviews and pictures onto one page celebrating a book all linked to the location.
One of the best things is this doesn’t have to feature the newest, latest book – we can use information from our archives. I don’t know about you but I can’t think of Oxford without thinking of Morse…
The only downside I can see is this might be a bit of a logistical nightmare as I source reviews, pictures, and blogger opinions with each location/book chosen. So in preparation I have set up a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org .
I would really appreciate it if you could write Put A Book On The Map in the subject field, or tweet me @cleo_bannister using hashtag #BookOnTheMap ideally with a location you know and the book/series you’d choose to place there. The downside of my new email address which I’ve been meaning to do for a while is that many of my blog comments need moderation the first time I comment as I’ve changed the link on WordPress too – sorry!
So I’m really hoping you will join me, especially those of you who have been busily recommending books matching UK counties to bloggers Abbie from Bloomin Brilliant Books, Jen from Jen Med’s Book Reviews and Rachel from Rachel’s Random Reads who are currently doing an ambitious challenge to read a book from each county in the United Kingdom! #AroundTheUKIn144Books
Now as this project has been brewing a while, I had hoped to contact more of you personally to ask for help but a combination of a nasty virus and too much (paid) work meant I didn’t follow through with that part of the plan and as I didn’t want to delay any longer that’s another apology I owe you!
Please do get in touch – I’m aiming for a post every couple of weeks starting the first week of February and would really love it if you join me, be it to spread the word, make suggestions or use your contacts! I do want this to be a real collaboration and an opportunity for discussion for all of us. So keep your eyes peeled for locations you know, as I will be doing a call out for specific requests as we go along.
Please leave any thoughts, suggestions, questions or general comments in the box below or email me at email@example.com .