Why I'm using South Central Pennsylvania settings for my mysteries:
1. I was born and bred in York County. As a child, I had access to a relative's farm as if it were a second home. On weekends or summer nights, entertainment was taking a drive along the Susquehanna River or through rural small towns, stopping at fruit and produce stands as we did. I rode my bike on the streets of York, learned to drive in mall parking lots and attended Catholic church.
I had neighborhood friends, school friends, and family in the city's neighborhoods. My roots are in the Susquehanna Valley so I can write about it, not only with detail, but with feeling.
2. It's a beautiful area with scenery that can bring peace, relaxation, excitement and meanderings. Pennsylvania has a diverse landscape from rolling hills to groves of maples to mountains and pines. South Central PA, where the Caprice De Luca mysteries are set, has dipping valleys, magnificent farmland as well as cities with hustle, bustle and history. It's diverse enough to work for many books.
3. Pennsylvania has a change of seasons. Weather can play a big part in plot. I like to use changing seasons from snow and ice to new spring beginnings when describing scenery.
The seasons can add to the impact of holidays, too.
4. South Central PA is near major metropolitan areas. Philadelphia, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Washington D.C., Baltimore and even New York are within driving distance of my small towns of Kismet in my Caprice De Luca series and Willow Creek in my Daisy Swanson Tea Garden series.
5. South Central PA is rich in history. Gettysburg is an hour's drive from Kismet. Willow Creek is situated in Lancaster County, rich in Amish heritage. I can tap into history for family backgrounds and intrigue.
South Central Pennyslvania fits my criteria for a setting in a series to provide diversity in population, scenery and weather. But most of all, it is my home and I hope that intimate knowledge of it will bring a familiarity to my storylines that readers want to read in each novel.