Monday, June 4, 2012


About Kari LeeTownsend...National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!

Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.

The Inspiration Behind the Town of Divinity

When I created the town of Divinity, I wanted to write about a place I had lived. I moved around when I was young because my dad was in the air force. But when I was older, we finally found roots in upstate New York. I didn’t dare use a real town. Trust me, if you mess up the name of a restaurant or a street or pretty much anything, people who live there will call you on it. I figured the best thing to do was to make up a fictitious town, but one that was a lot like the towns in upstate New York I’d grown up in and live in now.

The setting of a book can really add a lot of rich detail. From the type of plants and animals that live there, as well as the weather typical for a certain area. In the case of Divinity, I wanted that quaint picturesque type of feel. An old-fashioned town with old-fashioned street lamps and ancient Victorian buildings. Street benches and even a swan pond in a small park as a focal point in the center of town.

Going a a step further, I gave each of the main places in Divinity a theme. I find interior design fascinating, and how these characters choose to decorate their establishments tells the reader a lot about their personalities. Not to mention the reader gets to learn a little something about different periods in history and how the people decorated back then.

I love that upstate New York has the four seasons. I think it paints a different picture when the stories take place in different seasons. It’s like seeing the town in a whole new light. I just love revisiting people and places I’ve come to know and love when I read a book. I can only hope I’ve done the same with my series. I want people to actually wish they could visit Divinity. That would be the biggest compliment of all.

So tell me, what do you look for in a town? What kinds of settings do you like best?

To find out more about Kari and all her books go to or click on the links below:

Kari Lee Townsend (Website, Newsletter; Facebook andTwitter)


Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks so much for having me. I am just loving writing this series. Enjoy :-)

Caroline Clemmons said...

Kari, I also love small town settings and usually create a ficticious town for my books. I'm so happy to "meet" you and look forward to reading your books. Thanks for sharing today.

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Thanks Caroline. Nice to meet you, too :-)

Ruby Johnson said...

Many people like the hustle and bustle of a large city "where it's happening" but move to the suburbs when they have kids. I grew up in small town. Heck the whole county had a population of no more than 3 thousand. I hated that everyone knew my business and made up what they didn't know. When I went away to college, I never went back except to see my parents. Last spring I visited the town with my daughter. It is still the same and I could still remember the street names. My former home-gone-a pine forrest had been planted there. We drove around in about 10 minutes.
Now I like small towns in novels because of some of the same factors, they are familiar.

Laine said...

I like towns with atmosphere on the coast, like New Orleans and Charleston, S.C. Great post!

J. A. Bennett said...

Kari - great post! I love to see when writers use setting, as you said, to reveal a parts of a character's personality. I love reading about all types of places, from cold big cities to dusty single main street towns. Its so interesting how the less people there are, the more they know about each other. Divinity sounds like a wonderful place to visit :)

John Petter said...

Thanks for the post.

George said...

Thank you for the reminder--towns can be a their own character while helping out or working against the rest of the characters.

And as for Ruby’s question, I’m fond of small towns behind the eight ball on current technology and trends, and it’s fun to always have a mix of characters--a sage, a liar, a busy-body, and an almost witchlike or warlock recluse.

Thank you Kari Lee and Ruby. Good post.

Anne said...

You are so right about how readers will call you on mistakes about THEIR towns! I always like to read books set in towns I know but I think I'm extra critical of the descriptions. Unfair, I know.....

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