Monday, July 25, 2011

pop up places

Since I've been on the subject of real things that pop up as elements in my books, I thought I'd mention a few of the places that serve as settings for me.

First of all, almost none of the places in In the Path of Falling Objects actually exist, although they are based on real areas in New Mexico and Arizona. My sister-in-law's family came from Farmington, New Mexico, and, like the boys in the book, I've driven there. It is very remote and isolated, but visually is one of the most impressive places on the planet.

Jack's home town in The Marbury Lens, a place called Glenbrook, also does not exist, although it is described as being near places like Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, both of which are in Central California. I have relatives in Paso Robles, and have spent quite a bit of time in that area, which is why I wanted to use it as a setting for the book.

Also, some of the scarier scenes (like where Jack and Conner are driving Freddy in Conner's truck) really freaked out a cousin of mine, who feels certain she knows the exact dark road the boys were on.

In the England parts of The Marbury Lens, almost all the locations are places where I'd spent a great deal of time. Although the last time I was in Blackpool I was just a kid (and I understand the scene there has changed somewhat), the London and North Yorkshire places are very familiar to me. My brother lived for years in the town of Harrogate (where the character Rachel lives), and I can't begin to count the number of times I'd taken the train from Harrogate to Leeds to switch trains and catch a connection down to King's Cross in London, just like Conner and Jack do near the end of the book.