You know how sometimes you read a book that’s set in a city (or state) you’ve lived in (or been to)? And you spend a lot of time thinking, “Hey, wait a second, that is so not what (insert place name here) looks like.” And then you can’t focus on other things, like the plot or the characters, because you’re too focused on trying to find the next detail that’s wrong? I don’t want to write those books. I want my characters to live in the same place I do so I can write without worrying that the details are wrong.
As an added bonus, Montana is gorgeous, which is a fitting backdrop for love stories featuring hunky guys. It’s not Paris or Italy or the South (hello, Matthew McConaughey and your sexy, sexy accent and your sweaty pecs). But the scenery is amazing whether you’re in the mountainous western 1/3 of the state or the wide-open prairie in the east. People here tend to pick one side or the other, but I’m a hybrid. I love to see mountains in the distance.
I live in Missoula, which is decidedly mountainy, but I grew up in the middle of the state. For my first books, that’s where I’ve set my fictional town of Russell Ridge. Right smack in the middle of Montana with those mountain ranges in viewing (and easy driving) distance and lots of high prairie all around. Hopefully, you can feel at home here, too.