In all my writing I usually have a strong image in my head of the physical setting for the story. Whether that comes over to the reader is not for me to say, but nowhere is it more true than in my Macau short stories. Take for example A Short History of Chinese Tea. The family of my narrator – Lei-Wai – have fallen on somewhat reduced circumstances, I wonder where they lived? Somewhere like this perhaps? Somewhere a little rundown? A house that like the family has seen better times?
When she marries it is into money, so a grander home. Perhaps not quite as grand as this, but the restored Casa do Mandarim gives some idea of the sort of style of house she may have moved to.
At the end of the story she has a tea-shop. The Long Wa Tea House is a famous place for dim sum in Macau and Lei-Wai’s would have been smaller than this, but similar in appearance and style. The perfect setting for mahjong and gossip.
You can see/hear me read A Short History of Chinese Tea courtesy of the Fly on the Wall Press YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_kpe10jGHk&t) or better still buy my collection The Goddess of Macau coming from Fly on the Wall in August.