My Reasons For Worlds Collide Setting
Why is “Worlds Collide” setting principally in Alexandria rather than New Zealand?
I want to stay true to my pledge to include something of New Zealand in every one of my stories. But using a secondary character from a previous story (Worlds Apart) meant I really didn’t have any choice about where I was going to set Justin’s story. Some of it at least, had to be centred around Washington DC.
Getting access to work in the US is not so easy. But having been in the position of living in Maryland for a couple of years while my husband was attached to the New Zealand Embassy, I know how easily Justin can be living and working there. I had no need to research the rules regarding green cards or work visas. I already had experienced a similar situation. As I had always intended to write his story after introducing him in Worlds Apart, I had Justin as an Embassy employee right from the start. It was an easy way to explain his presence without going into any real detail regarding his immigration status.
Worlds Apart was set in Ellicott City, on the outskirts of Baltimore, because that is where we lived during our time in MD. While this was within commuting distance to DC, I wanted Justin to live closer. I remember Alexandria as a vibrant area and there was a warmth and beauty about the place which captured my imagination. I had no difficulty deciding Justin could live somewhere along the Potomac river and finding some photos among the thousands I took, I knew Founders Park suited perfectly.
To free himself from his taniwha, Justin had to return to New Zealand. I did consider having him and Nicole spend some time in this location before the end of the story, but decided this wasn’t necessary. They’d already faced the dark moment and overcome it. Continuing the story any further would have achieved nothing.
The setting of a story need not be so important unless you want it to be. I don’t intend to give long descriptions of scenery or locations but I hope I can always describe my setting, or mention actual points of interest within the setting so my readers can easily identify where the characters currently are.