Monthly Archives: May 2014

Dead Author Society: Mary Shelley

We recently launched a new program on Placing Literature called the Dead Author Society. Each week we’ll posthumously highlight an influential author who has used place in interesting ways in their writing. Last week we highlighted Arthur Conan Doyle.

This week we’re celebrating Mary Shelley. In addition to the places in Frankenstein (Geneva, Orkney Islands), Shelley’s other novels also take place in real locations around Europe. Valperga, an historical fiction novel, took place during a war between two very real Italian city-states, and her post-apocalyptic novel The Last Man occurs throughout the Mediterranean. 

Help us map Mary Shelley’s novels.

IndieReader Author Spotlight Harry Groome

Harry Groome is our IndieReader Author Spotlight for May. Harry is a former chairman for a large healthcare company and is a critically acclaimed self-published author in his second life. His parody of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Fished with a Worm, won an IndieReader Discovery Award in 2012. His other novels and short stories have received great reviews as well.

The paperback release of Thirty Below is scheduled during the month, and Harry will be mapping the scenes from the book on Placing Literature to build momentum up to the launch. Teasing his readers with location information from the novel will help create buzz and give readers additional ways to interact with the author and his novels.

Check out Harry’s map on throughout the month and follow him on his website.

RJ Julia Author Spotlight Bianca Turetsky

Bianca Turetsky is our R.J. Julia’s Author Spotlight for May. Bianca is the author of the Time-Traveling Fashionista young adult series which has perhaps the best concept for a book series I’ve ever heard. The protagonist travels through time by trying on vintage dresses she uncovers in a vintage clothing store. Upon slipping on a piece of antique clothing, she is transported back to Cleopatra’s court, Marie Antoinette’s palace and aboard the doomed Titanic.

And, as you can imagine, place plays an important role in Bianca’s telling of these time-traveling tales. In addition to keeping the historical details and locations accurate, she placed many of the fictional places in the book (the vintage dress shop for example) on real locations.

“I find it very grounding to do that,” Bianca wrote in an email. “Place is a memory trigger for me, so as I’m writing about what it’s like to be 12 years old, I try to use real places (schools, streets) to get myself back to that point.”

Check out Bianca’s map on and follow her on Twitter.