Location, Location, Location
Just re-read Anne Perry's The Cater Street Hangman, her kick-off book to the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series. A series I totally adore.
Now, I will freely admit to being a total sucker for foggy, gas-lit Victorian London. It's one of my favorite settings, and will usually get the book/movie/show an automatic star just for that alone. And I admire how Perry can achieve the iconic feel of the place yet still make it seem immediate and real.
How do you decide your settings? I don't like to go on and on about a place I've never been, but writing only on the towns I've actually lived in is ZZZzzzzzzz...
And you just know if I wrote about a city with which I had only a passing familiarity I'd hear about it. T.V. shows have people clad in solid black leather in Las Vegas or Miami in the summer, or show a little town on the plains of Kansas with mountains in the background with nary a peep; but let me get one little detail wrong and I'd be subject to angry blog bees buzzing about how Seattle doesn't have a Chinese restaurant that close to that neighborhood, or how no proper Bostonian would ever wear that, or that it never rains in Southern California.
Which is, pretty much, why I write fictional towns whenever possible. Of course, that works for me because I don't tend to write the place as a character in the story. If the setting is New Orleans or New York, the town is as much a character as the hero and heroine.
What about you? Real city or land of make believe?