The Scene of the Crime: Settings

When the time came to select a setting for my novel, there was only one place I had in mind: Southern California. I’ve lived there my whole life, seen the best of times and the not so great, and longed to re-visit, in the world of fiction, the places I knew…with my imaginary characters. Here was my chance to twist and turn and reshape reality in any way I wanted…to entertain myself, and hopefully my readers.

Since my heroine, Corrie Locke, works in the entertainment industry, Los Angeles was the obvious choice. But in reality, when I first started working in a movie studio, my division was located in Orange County. Guess where my heroine works? In sunny, sophisticated Newport Beach, host to the well-groomed, the cultured, and the fine automobile aficionado; where trouble is unwelcome and found in unexpected places. Corrie visits scenic shopping mall, Fashion Island, and ends up hiding behind a clump of banana trees to avoid discovery during a murder investigation. And she suffers a mishap on the quaint, neighborhood-friendly Balboa Island, while riding the ferry 800 feet across the small bay.

I know where Corrie lives: in breezy Hermosa Beach, in a cozy little bootleg unit, a stone or two throw away from the ocean. Hermosa is another sunny, popular hangout for the young ladder climber. The perfect scene for running into trouble. Which is what Corrie literally does in the first chapter when she takes to the wood chip trail for a late night jog. All she wants is to satisfy her craving for a sandwich… an ice cream sandwich, that is, but she bites off more than she could chew, figuratively speaking.

Setting is like a surrogate character. One that can mold the human characters in unpredictable ways. Corrie encounters danger everywhere, not just on-board a raft posing as a ferry, but also in a celebrity mansion in Malibu, on the streets of Bel Air…and even in her own home. Just my way of having a little fun.

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7 years ago


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