Why choosing your setting for your book is important

Why choosing your setting is important:
The settings in a book are important to the overall tone of the book. The action and the characters are affected by their surroundings. I have found to capture the true feel of a particular place it is most helpful to have been there myself. I have traveled to many different areas when writing my books. When I was working on my first book, Pegasus, I visited many locations in California. Also in Austria, I took a trip on the Danube and visited the Spanish Riding School. All those experiences helped me to write realistically about the settings of my story.
When I was working on The Beautiful American I visited James Monroe’s home, Ashlawn in Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. I also toured all throughout Albemarle county to get the feeling of the area I was writing about in the book and the settings I was creating for my characters. I have been to Paris many times and to the Louvre which was extremely helpful in writing the parts of the book set in post- revolutionary France.
In Making Wishes my main character lives in the Los Angeles area but travels to New York and London. Having visited both New York and London many times helped me create realistic settings for that book. And since I live in California, Los Angeles is a familiar area to me.
I can visualize in my mind the settings I am creating for my characters much better if I have been there. For my books to be realistic it is very important I choose settings that not only suit the characters and plot but most importantly are places I know and feel comfortable writing about.

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