Tag Archives: sylvan lake

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 of SINS OF THE FLESH

SINS OF THE FLESH, Available October 27, 2009 from FOREVER Grand Central PublishingMy friend Jacquie Rogers did a fun thing the other day on her blog – she told all about the setting for her novel Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues. You can check it out by clicking here or cutting and pasting this link: http://jacquierogers.blogspot.com/2009/06/where-heck-is-grasmere-idaho.html

Thanks for sharing that behind the scenes look, Jacquie!

It only seemed right to follow Jacquie’s wonderful lead and give you some behind the scenes info about SINS OF THE FLESH. Hopefully you’ll find some of the places that will be appearing in the book interesting and worth a trip next time you’re in the area.

Today I’m sharing with you a bit about the hero’s home – Bradley Beach, New Jersey. According to the town website, “(t)he earliest accounts of Bradley Beach can be traced back to 1679 when it is said that Captain William Kidd anchored his vessel off Duck Creek, now known as Sylvan Lake.”

Captain Kidd! How cool is that, although I don’t have any pirates in my book, just some arguably mad scientists doing weird gene experiments.

The town was named Bradley Beach in 1871 and over the next century, became a popular beach resort. It’s the kind of small town where you feel safe walking around and people say “Hello” and “Good morning.” It’s got a gorgeous paved beachfront walk dotted with gardens, gazebos, a playground and mini-golf course.

I love taking long walks along the beachfront and through town. It’s quite relaxing and because of that, it was a natural choice for me to be Mick Carrera’s home. As a mercenary, Mick needs somewhere to go where life is safe, relaxing and people can be trusted. Bradley Beach is the kind of a town where I can imagine Mick having a Happily-Ever-After.

Bradley Beach is also where Mick’s family lives and runs a Mexican restaurant along Main Street. If you visit Bradley Beach and come “down the shore” as the Jersey natives say, you’ll find that Main Street is just loaded with an assortment of different restaurtants, ice cream parlors, and bakeries.

I visited Bradley Beach several times to do research and am continuing to go back for more research as I write the second book in the series which will feature Mick’s little sister Liliana. Liliana is a doctor at a local hospital and is doing a residency in orthopedic surgery.

Since I’ve been visiting, I’ve got some recent shots to share with you so you can appreciate the laid back and friendly vibe of this Jersey Shore town.

Hope you enjoyed a slightly different Wicked Wednesday. I’ll be giving you some more behind the scenes snippets into SINS OF THE FLESH so you’ll get to meet all the characters and know a little bit more about the various places you’ll see in the book.