When she beta-read my last book, a friend told me that I seemed more interested in describing houses and settings than I was in describing people. At first I was taken aback, but after reflection, I saw her point. I adore all those tv shows about houses – buying houses, selling houses, decorating houses, rehabbing houses, even haunted houses. With my husband’s military career, we’ve bought and sold plenty of houses. I love a good house tour or decorator showcase. Even dollhouses fascinate me. When I was a little girl, my favorite toy was my Barbie Dream House. Although my kids flew the nest years ago, I still have custody of their dollhouses and, sorry kids, I don’t think you’re getting them back.
Why do houses intrigue me so? Perhaps a psychologist could explain. Maybe the dollhouse my dad built for me and my sisters, a replica of our own red Cape Cod home, set me on this path. Perhaps homes reflect the people in them and the writer in me has stumbled upon a different form of characterization?
With COVID restrictions, I haven’t been able to travel to scout potential story locations and buildings as much as I’d like. Lucky for me that my corner of Connecticut is chock full of intriguing places, places that fire my imagination and will make great settings for my books.
Writers: People or places – which do you find easier to describe?
Shari Randall is the Agatha Award-winning author of the Lobster Shack Mysteries.