How I Set the Scene by Leila Brown

When I started my book ‘The Diamond Heartstone’ I had to decide where I wanted it to take place. I knew the book was about white tigers. So I Googled big cat reserves. I found one that borders a national forest in California. I then used Google maps to show me the surrounding area. Then I chose where I would put a reserve.  

From the maps I chose an area that was surrounded by four lakes. Perfect. There was enough living area and water holes for a large number of animals. I printed out one color and one black and white photo. My inspiration. 

One week later imagine my surprise when I see the area from the air.  Yep, while on a vacation to San Francisco I see it from the air. Unprepared me has no camera ready.  I try to remember everything I can about it. How green is it? How blue is the water? Are there any houses, or anything nearby?  

So now I know it’s really close to San Francisco by air. I decide that I am going to use this trip for major research. I take pictures and document everything. The zoo. The coffee shops. The scenery. The neighborhoods. Everything.  

If I don’t write it down, I take pictures. Pictures that capture the emotion of the place. When I get home I am more than ready to write. I have the pictures. I have the feel. Only thing I don’t have is the words. And coming up with those is a whole other story! 

Leila Brown 

The Diamond Heartstone ~ Coming Nov. 21st  from Cobblestone Press

8 Responses to How I Set the Scene by Leila Brown

  1. Tosha

    I savour, cause I found just what I was having a look for.
    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless
    you man. Have a great day. Bye

  2. Sandra De Marco

    Some genuinely great blog posts on this website , thanks for contribution.

  3. Jane Toombs

    While I don’t use a storyboard–or maybe I do, but mine’s in my head!–I do think it’s a help when writing a book. For one thing, if it’s a series, it saves a lot of time because you don’t have to keep going back to earlier books in the series to get details right. Hmm, maybe I will do one for the new series I’m staring, going back to look for details is a real pain. Thanks for the posting–looks like I’ll profit by having read it. And the best of luck with the book. Jane

  4. Romance Junkies

    Fabulous! I can’t wait. Hmm can you take a picture of the mobile storyboard?? That would be great to show everyone 🙂

  5. Leila Brown

    Yes, I do storyboard. I love to make a mobile storyboard so that it can go with me as I write at my local borders or the small coffee shop in my home town. I plan to blog about it next month so watch for it.

    Thanks to everyone for the comments.


  6. Frank Webb

    Great way of using photos to write your books. All the best for you with your release of THe Diamond Heartstone.

  7. Romance Junkies

    It is very interesting to see how you chose the location. That is a great idea because with the pictures you can write it so the readers can visualize it. Do you storyboard with the pictures?

  8. Robin Snodgrass

    🙂 Great blog entry. That’s so fascinating to find out how you chose your location. I love finding out about the person behind the pen (so to speak). Best of luck on the release of THE DIAMOND HEARTSTONE!

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

    – Robin

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