Thanks a lot for revealing some fascinating facts about yourself and your writing, Kandy! It's a pleasure to feature you, and I hope you'll come here to check out your Sri Lankan 'roots'.
Guest Post: Settings
As an author, I love creating settings for my books. The settings can be real—such as Sydney or San Francisco—or spring from my imagination but are heavily influenced by real-life places I have visited.
Born in Sri Lanka to an expat English father and Australian mother and living in India, England and Ireland as a child, I guess it was inevitable that as an adult I would want to see more of the world.
Now I call Australia home, but I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a number of places in Asia, Europe and the USA. Many of the places I’ve visited have inspired both settings and characters for my stories.
I use my experiences to create appropriate settings where my characters play out the plot and also to create authentic backgrounds for them. My award-winning romantic comedies Love is a Four-Legged Word and Home Is Where the Bark Is are set in San Francisco. What better place for characters who are crazy about dogs?
My best-selling contemporary romance The Castaway Bride is set on an imaginary tropical island in the far north of Queensland, Australia. The idyllic setting was as much a part of the romantic fantasy as the plot—it almost became a character!
I created the fictional small coastal town of Dolphin Bay, on the south coast of New South Wales Australia, as a setting for three Harlequin Romance novels: The Summer They Never Forgot (February 2014; The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner (July 2014) and A Diamond in Her Stocking (December 2014).
To create Dolphin Bay, I plundered vacation memories of quaint towns, pristine beaches and unspoiled bushland to create Dolphin Bay. One review of the book says the setting “is described so beautifully, readers will almost feel the sand between their toes”.
But setting isn’t just about descriptions of cities or beaches. The power of any setting is the way it shapes the characters: their views on life, their goals and motivations, their yearnings and dreams. My imaginary small town setting is important both for the characters who want to live there and the characters who want to get out!
Like me, the characters who populate the pages of my books often have a yen to see the world. They experience life outside of their home-town, too. The time they’ve spent in France, the USA, India, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore or Indonesia affects the person they have become.
No matter where I might travel, my stories and characters are always with me. Even on an indolent tropical vacation, those characters in my head are always poking their noses in and suggesting ways the location might affect them and the way they behave on the pages of my books. Needless to say, a camera and notebook are always on hand. Because if I set a scene or a chapter or a book in a different country, I like to get the details right!
About the Author
Kandy’s second Dolphin Bay story for Harlequin Romance, The Tycoon and The Wedding Planner will be released on July 1, 2014
The Tycoon and the Wedding Planner
When one wedding leads to another...
Kate Parker distracts herself from her memories by keeping busy--and how better than organising weddings for Dolphin Bay’s sweethearts? But tall, dark and handsome tycoon Sam Lancaster’s arrival suddenly has Kate forgetting where she has left the confetti…
And mysterious Sam will be around a while longer than the cutting of the cake--because he’s got to oversee Kate’s building project! There’s no time for distractions…but is it time to stop running from happiness, now it’s led them to each other?