Book locations: where do you set them?

One of the things which added to my list of problems while writing The Game Begins was where to set it. I’d heard so many stories of writers who’d set their books in the places they grew up or holidayed in and got told never to go back because the locals didn’t like being associated with the plot or the themes.

But what’s the solution when you want your book to be believable and it’s supposed to be set in the real world? I know I didn’t want to be banned from my town or anywhere else, and yet I’ve found the book’s lacked a sense of realism because I never mention place names.

How do you balance references to the places you know without saying where the book is set? Or do you just use the name of the town you grew up in and to hell with the consequences?

Let me know in the comments section below where you set your stories. I don’t feel like this is talked about enough.

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