Keeping it Real in the City of Bridges
Poking around here a few months ago I saw a post on the importance of location in stories by historical writer Jacquie Rogers and I have to agree with her. In a historical, location is everything. Nothing gets on my nerves worse than an author who hasn’t done their research on a historical book and its locations.
Which is probably why I write contemporary paranormals. I love to read historical but I’ve got to say all the research causes me to flash back to graduate school.
Once I got over the craving for sludgy coffee thinking about graduate school caused I started to think about locations in paranormals and contemporary romances. Stephen King’s stories wouldn’t work in Southern California. I don’t think anyone could argue that Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser wouldn’t be nearly as compelling anywhere else besides the wilds of Scotland and North Carolina. Somewhere like Edinburgh he’d lose his sparkle.
My new series (Luck of the Devil is the first of 3 books) is set in Pittsburgh. The beautiful City of Bridges. Didn’t know that didya? Yep, we’ve got more bloody bridges here than anywhere else besides Venice Italy. And every single one of them is congested at rush hour. That’s not all we have here though. We have the Carnegie Museums which are world class, an amazing library system, and all sorts of amazing things to see. We also have more historical sites than you can shake a stick at. Which brings up the question – why hasn’t someone set a historical here?
Now you may ask: why would I have the Devil’s youngest daughter living in Pittsburgh? Besides, the obvious fact that I live here and it make location scouting a lot easier?
Well first, have you seen our winters? Hell. Frozen. Over. About 4 months out of the year.
Second, I always thought the Devil would be a sports fan. And let’s be serious – he’s not going to be rooting for a group of losers. And that means he’s going to be a fan of the Steelers and the Penguins. Most importantly though is that the people of Pittsburgh have a live and let live sort of mindset. Paranormal creatures could live here and no one would even notice as long as they didn’t suddenly announce they were a Cleveland Browns fan.
Besides, setting my books in Pittsburgh allows me to show all the wonderful people and places who really call this city home. Primanti Brothers and the Church Brewworks in this book both exist. So does Soloman Brother’s Seafood and the charming town of Washington, PA which are locations in the second book of this series.
So while location may not be as critical to my books as they are to Diana Gabaldon’s, I couldn’t imagine Luck of the Devil being the same anywhere but here. Pittsburgh is as much a character in Luck of the Devil as anyone else. It lives and breathes like every location should in a novel. And it’s a character I’m lucky enough to spend time with every day.