The setting of my third book (the one I should be editing at this moment) is New Jersey. The problem is that many people have many mental images when they hear New Jersey, but those stereotypes are not the New Jersey that I know.
People think New Jersey is just big cities. Or they think of some Jersey shore TV show. The Jersey I know has a lot of wooded country roads. It has farm stands and small towns and isolated old houses set back from the road.
The Jersey I know is the one of the pine barrens and small shore towns and the Jersey devil. I believe in the Jersey devil. Of course, I also believe in the headless horseman, Casper the Ghost and the Easter Bunny. The jury is out on Santa. I’m suspicious that he can be in all of those malls at the same time. But I digress.
The problem when you are writing about someplace that everyone thinks they know (oh, yeah, Joisey) is combating their preconceived ideas without crusading. I want to write the description as background and find that I’ve had to cross out all kinds of things, because I was trying to make a point.
But I’m proud of this particular book, and I’m keeping the setting where it is, because it makes me feel as though I’m coming back for a visit. So I must be doing something right. If I ever finish editing the darn thing.