The Setting

Chained is set in the northern part of India. I chose that setting for a couple of different reasons:

I’d always thought of Nandita as an elephant who was captured from her home in the wild to work as a show elephant somewhat close to home. I like the tension of home being just out of reach; she could get there if only she could get out from behind the locked fence where she works as a show elephant.

So where could the story take place, if I wanted there to be an elephant who was close to her home in the wild?

Elephants are found in Africa and Asia, so I could have set the story on either continent. I decided to write about an Asian elephant in India, because it’s a place where elephants are traditionally used in shows as performers.

I wanted the main character, Hastin, to have a life much like Nandita’s while they were working together. If only he could get away from the circus grounds, he could make his way home.

India is such a diverse county in many ways, terrain included. Here are two pictures that represent where Hastin comes from and where he works.The contrast of the two settings allows us to discover the jungle of India along with Hastin, since it’s as unfamiliar to him as it is to most of us.

Not a good home for an elephant

A hut in the desert of Rajasthan. Not a good home for an elephant