FANatic Friday: Tari Gushes about Debra Dixon and Setting

September 30, 2011

Although my WIP is contemporary women’s fiction with a romantic element, my recent reading binge has been historical fiction…and of course, The Help. But not too long ago, I responded to a blog post by Sue Grimshaw, Editor at Random House, on her blog Romance at Random. She sent me a copy of Debra Dixon’s steamy Loveswept novel, Tall, Dark & Lonesome, a western romance, and the first book I’ve read on my Kindle.

So I happily switched gears and as I clicked through the pages I found myself in familiar territory…Wyoming. Some of you may know that this Los Angeles South Bay beach girl spent six years living in central Wyoming with my hunky husband, Paul, and our three sons. After three years back in Los Angeles, driving through the chaos on the 405 Freeway and Pacific Coast Highway and living in the concrete and asphalt of the city, an escape to the peace and open space of Wyoming was just what I needed.

As a writer when I read I’m always looking for something to learn. I’m looking for dialogue that flows, plots and subplots and description that gives me enough, without slowing down the story. In Tall, Dark & Lonesome I found myself lost in the setting. Debra Dixon wove a heated love story into the seductive backdrop of the Wyoming landscape and lifestyle.

While living in Wyoming, the closest I ever came to experiencing a cattle drive was stopping our car to watch one cross the highway in front of us in Pinedale, Wyoming. This is also the closest that we ever came to an actual “traffic jam” while we lived there. After reading Tall, Dark & Lonesome I felt like I had experienced the cattle drive with the heroine, Nikki Devlin, and sexy, rancher Zach Weston. I could just see Zach sitting on his horse silhouetted by the brilliant Wyoming sunset and tipping his Stetson to me before he rode off to…well wherever sexy cowboys ride off to.

Debra Dixon’s book has me thinking about the setting of my own book. How important is it to the plot? Will my reader feel like she is running along the South Bay coastline with my heroine? Will she feel the history of the old buildings? How do I get the reader there without ‘over’ describing? I can smell the sagebrush and hear the sexy drawl in Zach Weston’s voice…

What books have made you think of setting? How important is setting in the book you’re writing? How do you put your reader where your heroine lives?

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One Response to “FANatic Friday: Tari Gushes about Debra Dixon and Setting”


  1. […] “Suck it up, you baby,” but I think that is implied.  (g)  I have had some lovely reviews from bloggers who have gushed about me but you can’t win ‘em all and it’s the readers who honestly fail you that keep […]

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