They come in all shapes and sizes. The athlete with his/her eye on the prize of an Olympic medal. The politician with White House ambitions. Even the city of Boston had a goal this year: to mark the snowiest winter in that city’s history since 1872. Congratulations, Boston, you did it.

As writers of fiction, we too have a goal: to create stories that make for good reading. Some would call this ambitious, but we’re not daunted by the challenge because we are avid readers, too. Knowing what we enjoy in a book — engaging writing, vividly depicted characters, and a compelling story line that keeps us reading to the final word on the last page — helps us to better define our writing responsibilities and efforts to achieve our goal.

We also have a list of favorite authors who inspire and teach us as well. Elin Hildebrand and Karen White are both queens of the location story, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and the palmetto state of South Carolina, in particular. Pick up any one of their best-selling titles and you’ll be transported instantly to a sunny island beach or the shallows of the low-country. Much like real estate, location is key in Hildebrand and White’s books.

Taking a page from them, our new book The Pie Sisters, spotlights Canandaigua Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes region as both a beautiful watercolor backdrop, and a central character to the story. The book is our personal tribute to the lakes of summers past where we whiled away the hours swimming, floating, playing, and making memories to last a lifetime. In writing The Pie Sisters, we hope we have done justice to these special places, and achieved our goal of bringing to you a good read.