Sunday, January 20, 2008


I was recently asked to do a workshop on setting for my local RWA chapter. My immediate reaction was hw to find enough information for an hour long workshop. I mean, setting is a no brainer. It’s where you set your story, in what time period and location. For me, being a historical writer with the majority of my romances set in Colonial America, setting was something I didn’t even think about, which may or may not be the most professional way to write a book.

So I have until October to present a talk on setting and, of course, this has me thinking about MAN OF HER DREAMS, my first publication with Champagne Books.

MAN OF HER DREAMS was one of the fastest books I’ve ever written, yet the setting of the book had been in my subconscious as well as in my idea notebook for seven years. Riley West, hero of MAN OF HER DREAMS, has spent years as a prisoner in York Jail (or “Gail” as termed in Colonial times). I found the jail literally by accident while vacationing in Maine with my family. And, of course, I had to stop and check it out. Come to find out, York Jail was one of the cruelest prisons in our nation’s history. I knew I would one day write about this place, just as I knew this story would have a tortured hero. And my notes on the place sat in my notebook.

Fast forward seven years, I was slugging around the house, waiting for my morning coffee to kick in when I saw an ad on television for internet dating. Always thinking “What if?” I wondered what if a meddling family member were to answer an ad for a spouse. What if they were to correspond with a woman and bring her to America? And what if having a wife is the very last thing this hero wants or needs? Enter tragic hero and, of course, the old jail in York came to mind. The rest, as they say, is history.

Thanks for visiting.
~ Nancy


Chumplet said...

Isn't it amazing how one event, dream or snippet of conversation can kick start the story that's been lurking in your mind for years? It was meant to be.

Nancy Henderson said...

It is amazing. And a lot of fun!