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Hello and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for “The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup” by Angie Smith.  I am thrilled to share a guest post written by the author on locations used in books and discusses whether or not to use fact or fiction when it comes to the places used.

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Description:

Arms dealing. Murder. Corruption. 

In Africa, Taylor Hudson reaches the stark realisation that she is in imminent danger.

Time is nearly up when, out of nowhere, she is thrown a lifeline.  Left with little option, she places her trust in a complete stranger. But who is this stranger and why the interest in saving her?

The answers lie 6,000 miles away, deep inside the British Secret Intelligence Service, where a former, disgraced, senior officer is attempting to work his way back into the heart of the organisation. But what are his real intentions? 

What ensues is a deadly game of bluff, double-bluff and triple-bluff.

You can buy a copy of “The Spy Who Chipped The China Teacup” via:

Amazon


A book about fiction, or is it?

What is it about locations in fiction that grabs your attention? Makes it real for you? Do you like plenty of detail or do you just not care? Then, there is that old chestnut – should locations be real or fictitious? This last question seems to be one which causes a stir among readers.

Recently, I was puzzled to see a scathing write-up about a book I’ve read and very much enjoyed. The main reason for the cutting review was the author’s use of fictitious place names. But why should it matter? It would appear that to some people it does – very much so. I’ve seen accusations of laziness and lack of research thrown at authors.

Coming in for the most criticism appears to be the writer who adopts the hybrid style, a mix of actual and fictitious. Cries of ‘there is no such police authority in [insert place name]’ along with ‘there is no such job as a [insert made up job title]’. It seems the reader who has real places on which to create their imagination struggles to cope with other aspects which are completely made up. Yet – what is a work of fiction?

I suppose I now need to confess that as an author I am absolutely compelled to write about actual places. And almost exclusively I have to visit those places. Why? For me it provides the backdrop for creating atmosphere, flavour, ambience, call it what you like. So, if a reader lives locally or has visited the areas, then they may travel with me. And the reader who hasn’t is provided with sufficient information in order to experience the fineries of the location.

Having polled readers on a book club it would appear some argue that if you write about places which exist, then every single detail must be accurate. I’d agree – having to bear the brunt of criticism claiming that a certain train journey I’d referred to from a) to b) didn’t exist as a direct route! Whilst finding this amusing I was somewhat cross with myself and I was convinced I’d researched it and there was a direct train. Hey ho! But what is it that makes for a brain which will happily suspend belief about murder, espionage, corruption and spies, but cannot handle a minor detail about whether a direct train journey exists?

Of course the other side of the coin, where writers use completely fictitious locations has to have a mention here. As I alluded to above it matters not one jot to me so long as the author has created a vision – they’ve stirred my imagination enough for me to think it’s real. Isn’t that just as clever as writing about existing locations? Maybe they use real places and change the name, but that’s fine with me too as a reader. It all comes down to horses for courses. What works for one reader might not for another. That’s the thing with books – there are so many variable. So much to discuss. What do you think?

Footnote – that reader who picked up the train journey issue is now a good friend.


A huge thank you to Angie Smith for joining me today and also to Bloodhound Books for having me join their blog tour.  Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for fab reviews, guest posts and other brilliant content! Blog Tour(5)

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