It's Alive! Novel Settings

At nearly four books into my Southern California Mystery series, I just realized something: each book has a VIP in it. No, not the type of VIP you’re thinking of. This VIP is a Very Important Place, located in SoCal, of course. Very important because each place meant something to yours truly. And now they serve as a little more than just another pretty backdrop to Corrie Locke, my fictional heroine.

In MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS, much of the action takes place in Newport Beach. Balboa Island, to be exact, where I spent a great deal of time in my early days. It’s a cozy, peaceful community with gently rolling waves and a small town feel to it, if you don’t count the upscale homes and yachts. Balboa Island was the perfect place for my heroine to experience a slight mishap (okay, maybe more than just a slight mishap).

Book #2, MURDER GONE MISSING, revolves around, and up and down, a college campus, kind of similar to this one: I didn’t actually go to Cal Tech as a student, but I did spend time at the Jet Propulsion Lab, a stone’s throw away from, and owned, by Cal Tech. One of my little guys harbored a not so secret fascination with everything technical. He’s also the tech advisor on all of my books.

A movie studio in Culver City gets top billing in Book #3, MURDER: DOUBLE OR NOTHING. There are also plenty of nods in #3 to days spent working at a similar place in my early legal life.

Settings almost behave like characters in novels, and in the case of my books, the settings range from innocent bystanders to villainous cads out to trip my heroine so she stumbles and falls hard…or worse. The strange part is I never plan for my settings to be anything, but just that. A place for Corrie to hang out. Yet, they seem to come to life on their own as soon as my heroine steps into the picture. Go figure.

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