Travel without packing or passports …

Sharing my post this week from Women Writers, Women’s Books FB page, on the importance of location in the novels I write. What are some of the favourite locations from books you have read?

Location! Location! Location!

April 7, 2018 | By

This may sound like an intro for a real estate ad, but not this time. Rather it’s an intro to considering the importance of location in stories. The sense of ‘place’ is often vital to the heart of a novel and, speaking from a personal perspective, it’s absolutely essential to the stories I want to share with readers.

My first novel, The Bridge Club, is set in Canada with locations ranging from the pastoral Eastern Townships of Quebec to the stunning Coast Mountains in British Columbia. When I wrote it, I was focussed more on character development since that is what drives this story. The fine details of the locations were secondary.

Not so, when I began to write The Promise of Provence. I knew I had two primary goals. One was to write a meaningful plot with complex characters, to which women over fifty would relate. The other was to share the love affair I have had with the south of France all of my life. There was no doubt in my mind that I wanted the reader to feel they were in settings with the characters in every respect. I hoped they would see, taste, smell, feel (as in touch) and even hear everything, just as the characters did.

In other words, all senses were employed.

That first Provence novel turned into Book 1 of the Love in Provence series, in good part because of the love my readers felt for the setting. Of course they became engaged with the characters as well, but it became clear that the majority of my readers are devoted Francophiles. They write and tell me they are transported by the stories and that’s my greatest reward.

When a woman living on a remote farm in Iowa writes and says, “Thank you for taking me somewhere I know I will never go in my life,” I know my work is done. My readers travel without packing or passports!

To continue reading, please click here.

About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. I had a lovely time going to those special places. Just when I needed to get away, you gave me all this! Thank you so very, very much!

    • Patricia Sands says:

      You are so very, very welcome, Martha! I plan to take you to many more special places too!
      Get ready! 🙂

  2. The setting of your “Promises” series is wonderful. I always feel as if I’m right there in France as I read these novels.

    • Patricia Sands says:

      I’m glad you do, Anneli. Thanks so much! You do such a fine job of bringing readers into the atmospheric settings in your novels. Having just recently read your novel, Marlie, images of the rugged beauty of the remote Queen Charlotte Islands still rest with me.

  3. I love traveling vicariously through you and your blog. You always have the most beautiful photos and unique perspectives (like doors). I do feel like I’m getting a mini vacation when I visit your blog and newsletter.

    Thanks for sharing. I love that your readers feel like they’re completely “there” when they read your books. I haven’t read but 1 but it sure felt like I could reach out and touch the setting.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Patricia Sands says:

      Thanks, Patricia. You’ve been sharing positive thoughts like these with me for several years. Merci beaucoup! I hope you know how much I appreciate the fact that you take the time to do so! I’ll keep writing and posting as long as friends like you continue to enjoy them. xo

  4. Maryann Triplett says:

    I have only read your books that are set in Provence … and … I loved each of them!

    • Patricia Sands says:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your comment here, Maryann. I’ll keep writing books that I hope you will love.

I love hearing from you ~ thanks for stopping by


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.