Thursday, January 25, 2007

Jay Gilbertson (part 2): Place-how does it shape you?

Something that’s become more and more important for me as a writer is place. When I write, I have such a clear vision of where my story is taking place. I can see it, smell it, practically touch it.

Is that important to you?

When you write, are you there? I often feel that my characters are in the other room, about to come in and join me. Much of my series takes place out on the dock. A favorite thing of mine is to sit on the end of the dock, dangle my bare feet off the edge and splash around a bit. Connects me to the earth.

Have you a favorite thing to do that connects you?

Here’s some pictures, a few are of our farm…we live on an eighty-acre piece of heaven. There’s a pond, several springs and tons of woods to knock around in. My office window looks out to the fields and beyond. It’s truly inspires me.


Helen Brenna said...

Place is critical to me. Not so much where I am, as much as where my characters are in my books, especially because I love to travel and don't get much of a chance to.

First book set in the Bahamas, second one in Peru, and I'm working on one now set in Greece. I wish!

Betina Krahn said...

I think place is integral to most stories. And, boy-howdy, I can see why you chose that area to write about, Jay. It's stunning. What a wonderful place to inspire creativity!

Do you have critters?

I'm working on a mainstream-women's fiction book right now and I guess it could be set anywhere. But I chose Tampa and I think it gives the piece a whole different flavor than if I'd set it in the Twin Cities. The characters are different because the ambiance and standards are more easy-going here. There is also a lot of material wealth here that draws a distinct line between have and have not. If people here have it, they flaunt it. Which makes the story work in a way it wouldn't elsewhere.

I have to say, I have dreams of having such a place to write. . . sigh. But I'm not giving up the warm winters and sunshine down here. . . I want BOTH!

:) Betina

anne frasier said...

i moved to the city 7 years ago after living in a log home surrounded by 80 acres of evergreens. now i see nothing but houses and garages when i look out my windows. the absence of tranquil places to focus throughout the day has made it really tough when trying to hammer out plot problems. there's no peace here. a lot of positive energy, but no peace. i have adapted -- and am probably writing darker and nastier books because of this constant state of smothering claustrophobia. :D

Debra Dixon said...

I love that last pic of the setting sun and the dock. That's fabulous.

My family's always had a place on a lake. I grew up around water. The memory of that sense of tranquility you can get at water's edge has always been something so tangible to me when I see a picture like this. Makes me want to hang out on that dock and dangle my legs as well.

Place has always changed my story and characters. It has to.

Jay Gilbertson said...

Well, it's time for me to head on home. Sure enjoyed riding along with you all. What a refreshing group of powerful women you are!

I'm honored and grateful and, shucks, I'll miss you too...

All I have to say is, "Keep writing!"

and as my good friend Cher always adds before we 'good-bye,' whatever you do; Be Fabulous!



now if who ever took my water bottle would hand it over...

Kathleen Eagle said...

Wahn! I'm late coming to the party, as usual. LOVE the pictures of your place, Jay. I've lived lots of places--lots of changes of scene growing up as an Air Force brat--and I absolutely believe that setting makes all the difference in a story. Betina's Tampa story would have to be completely different if it were in in the TC, at least in my mind. I can't think of setting a story in a place I've never ever been. I did it once--an island trilogy for Silhouette--and I made up the island. I'd been to the Carribean, but hadn't spent enough time there, so in my mind I was on Guam, where I lived for 2 years, but eons ago.

Most of my stories are set in the Dakotas, and even though I lived there for 20 years, I have to pay at least one visit when I'm working on a book. But that's just me.

Thanks for riding along and trusting our driving, Jay!

Christie Ridgway said...

Those pix are fabulous, Jay! Thanks for sharing them.

Place is very important to me, too. All my single title romances are set in California and I delve into the history of each place in order to understand it better. The kind of people who came to California (well, still come) are integral to its character.