Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Lo amo l'Italia!

By Lisa Harris

When I first start writing almost twenty years ago, the settings of my stories were pretty random and never played an intricate part of the story. But over the years, both through writing and reading, I've learned that not only is setting key, it can actually be weaved into the story like another character. Whither it's a South African game farm, the Smoky Mountains, or the barren Sahara desert, the setting can be used not just to anchor a story, but to make it come to life.

Last summer, knowing I was going to write a book set in Italy, our family was able to fly into Rome on our way back to the United States. I've just now started working on the story--another fast paced Romantic Suspense--and the chance to actually visit cities like Rome, Pisa, and Venice, has given me additional details and insight into the country that goes beyond internet research. 

Since I've started writing, I'm enjoying going back through my notes and photos, I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos from our trip.

What about you? What book have you read lately that does an excellent job of weaving the setting into the story?

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over twelve years working as missionaries in Africa. When she's not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com


  1. Hi Lisa, wonderful you got to visit Italy so you could do some research. I recently read an historical romance novel set in the 1850s of gold rush San Francisco. The author did a marvellous job of taking us back into such a time. I expect she would have had to have done lots of desk research as she couldn't simply "visit".

    Looking forward to your Italian romantic suspense novel, Lisa. Trust you'll enjoy some of the memories of that trip as you draft it.

    1. It definitely is fun to be able to visit the setting of a story. San Francisco would be a really fun place to see. . even if it is through a book. :-)

  2. Well after all those pictures taken with an 'on the ground' discovery tour this novel should really ring with authenticity. Bravo!

  3. It was definitely a great way to do research!

  4. I am so jealous! I went to Italy in 2008 (Rome, Venice and Florence) and would SO love to go back again :)

    This isn't quite on point as to your question but my next book that releases is set in Oxford, England. Since I didn't have the budget to be able to travel there (and have never been) I found myself totally reliant on GoogleMaps, YouTube, guide books and other peoples' recollections. After having written a book where I knew the location intimately, it was SO hard trying to make Oxford come alive with only second hand information. And I'm sure I have gotten a few things wrong!