Tag Archives: location

#WriteWed Bryant Park & Jersey Girl Bridesmaids

I am so chugging along on Book 1 of the Jersey Girl Bridesmaids series! I am having a ton of fun with it and I hope you will also when the first book, tentatively titled Since We Were 18, is released in 2017.

The scene I’m writing right now is set at the Bryant Park Grill. I’ve eaten there several times and it’s a great restaurant with scenic views and good food.

Regular visitors to the blog know that Bryant Park is one of my favorite spots in New York City and I go there often, like every day! There is always something happening and I love seeing all the gardens in the park.

At one time, the park was known as “Needle Park” and it was filled with prostitutes and drug dealers. You risked your life walking through there even in the daytime, but no more. The park has been rejuvenated and now is a fabulous place for New Yorkers and tourists alike to visit and spend time.

Today’s Write Wednesday is some photos from Bryant Park since I’m busy writing this scene.

Kiss Me, Kill Me – It’s All About Location!

When working with a location in your novel, it’s important to keep in mind a number of things:

1. The tone of the book: Where you set your novel can have an obvious impact on the overall atmosphere of the work. A centuries-old inn on a rocky and foggy New England coast may be better for establishing a gothic feel than the glittering streets of Miami. On the other hand, setting a novel in an unexpected locale, like Miami for a vampire story, may be provide novel ways for you to expand a mythology or create an alternate world.

2. Roadways and the native lingo: My husband just finished a book and said to me that it was obvious the writer was not a New Yorker, although apparently the main character in the book was supposed to be a New Yorker. How did hubby know that? The writer made references to roadways in a manner in which natives would not. For example, a reference to 95 when coming off the George Washington Bridge (aka the “GW” to a native). While it may be 95 on the map, most natives would equate that road with heading to the Turnpike (aka the New Jersey Turnpike). Another one to watch out for if you’re writing about New York City (aka Manhattan), Avenue of the Americas is the official name for 6th Avenue, but it’s rare for a New Yorker to call it Avenue of the Americas.

3. Foods: Food can add a great deal of color to your novel. For example, a reference to “tomato pie” would be appropriate for certain settings in New Jersey. What’s “tomato pie” you wonder? It’s a type of pizza and common in many areas (but not in New York City where it’s not common to refer to “pizza” as “tomato pie”). The reference is more common along the Jersey Shore and in Trenton, which is famous for its “tomatoe pie”. In the shore and Trenton areas, “tomato pie” is usually a thin crust pizza where the cheese goes on first and then the sauce.

4. Media attention: It sounds sanguine, but deciding where to set your story may help with getting media attention for your work. A local author setting a novel in a hometown location: Perfect for getting the attention of the local newspaper, community groups, etc. and setting up signings.

5. Local Customs and Superstitions: When choosing a location (or creating your own), are there any local customs or superstitions that you can include? A haunted house or site of buried treasure? A tale about the town’s founding or history? For example, while researching the area of the Jersey Shore where I’ve set SINS OF THE FLESH and STRONGER THAN SIN, I discovered that Captain Kidd anchored off what is now known as Sylvan Lake in Bradley Beach and buried part of his treasure between two trees near what is now known as Brinley Avenue. You can bet that will make it’s way into a book someday!

I hope these things help you with choosing and working with the location in your novel.

Wicked Wednesday – Behind the Scenes: The Pine Barrens

sinscoversmallOne of our last Wicked Wednesdays was a Behind the Scenes look at Bradley Beach where our hero, Mick Carrera, has his home in my November paranormal romantic suspense release, SINS OF THE FLESH.

This time I’m going to give you a little Behind the Scenes look at another pivotal location in the novel — The Pine Barrens in New Jersey, also known as the Pinelands. Also known as the supposed home of the Jersey Devil.

The Pine Barrens is an enormous area of coastal plain, over 1 million acres large in South Jersey. It contains one of the state’s largest water aquifers and is both a National Reserve and a United Nations International Biosphere Reserve.
Lake Atsion in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Taken by User:Mwanner, 9 September, 2005 Used under GNU  Documentation License

Because of its size and location close to the Jersey Shore and Camden, not to mention its protected status, it became the perfect place for me to locate the buildings for Wardwell Laboratories, the company that is supposed to provide Caterina Shaw, our heroine, with her gene therapy. The Wardwell buildings are right on the edges of one of the Pine Barrens’ non-developed areas and because of that, there are several scenes which take place in the woods nearby.

Today’s Wicked Wednesday is about Mick’s first visit to the Wardwell offices and a meeting with one of the company’s founders.

Chapter 1

Mick Carrera understood what kind of man he was.

Ruthless.

Determined.

Skilled in the art of killing.

People came to him when no one else could handle their problems because Mick either solved them or eliminated them — if Mick thought elimination was justified. Some scruples remained buried in his soul, a secret he closely guarded. In his line of work, having scruples equated to weakness.

Dr. Raymond Edwards had presented him with the kind of job that possibly ended with elimination, although Edwards hadn’t come right out and said so during their short telephone conversation. The doctor had skirted around the subject with the skill of a ballroom dancer, insisting time and time again that all he required were the services of a security specialist to assist with a problem at their facility.

Mick’s initial misgivings made him wonder why he had even come to the doctor’s office for this additional discussion. His typical clientele preferred meeting places that were much less visible, but then again, maybe such transparency meant that the doctor had been truthful about the nature of this assignment.

He scoped out the office as he entered, taking note of the fact that there was only one entrance in and out. Not good in case of the need for a quick escape. As he passed a credenza located beneath a wall filled with diplomas, framed news articles and photos, he noticed a small bronze statue of a horse mounted on a heavy marble base.

The size and weight of the statue would make it a handy weapon for either cracking open a man’s skull or breaking through the plate glass windows which lined one long wall of the office. The clear windows were now darkening, the color becoming as deep and dense as squid ink and likely for the same reason – concealment.

Mick had noticed all the high tech security on his way through the entrance of the building. He had expected it even while worrying about it. He knew his image would end up saved on a hard drive somewhere from the assorted cameras throughout the offices, but if Dr. Edwards was on the up and up, this was one job that was too good to not consider.

“I thought you might like some privacy,” the man behind the desk said as he rose and offered his hand.

“Dr. Raymond Edwards,” the man said.

Mick shook his hand and with a nod said, “Mick Carrera.” As Mick sat, he caught a glimpse of another security camera behind the desk, aimed directly at his chair. When Edwards tracked his gaze, he said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Carrera. I’ll make sure all traces of you are erased from our systems.”

“I appreciate your understanding,” he said, even while wondering again why a supposedly distinguished scientist like Raymond Edwards seemed compelled to seek out the services of a man like him. Wondering what else the good doctor had erased from the company’s security videos.

Dragging his attention to the man seated behind the desk, he listened as Edwards offered a rather lengthy introduction about the work that his biotech company did and their many accomplishments. Edwards’ manner was outwardly confident and business-like, but Mick couldn’t help but notice how the doctor kept his right hand on the face of the file on his desk and fiddled with one corner of the thick folder, thumbing it again and again. The curled corner of the papers confirmed that Edwards had opened up that file more times than the good doctor wanted him to know.

When Edwards paused for a breath, Mick seized the opportunity. “Your mission is clear, Dr. Edwards. Your company specializes in developing gene therapies for the terminally ill.”

The man stiffened and immediately corrected him. “Our present group of patients is terminally ill, but we hope that what we learn from our current research –”

“Will help all of mankind in the future. So why do you require my services?”

Copyright 2009 Caridad Pineiro Scordato – All rights reserved.