Eden, Texas is the hometown of my heroes in The Devil Ryder series and it’s a figment of my imagination. It came alive for me during the writing The Devil’s Daughter and it’s only seen briefly in the soon-to-be-release sequel The Devil’s Defiance, but I'm very drawn to it.
It’s a small town overtaken and run by a set of feuding cattle barons. As these two families battle it out, the town and its people get sucked into the drama. As a plotter I’m very detail oriented with my writing. I use outlines, maps, and character charts. I’ve got pictures and hand drawn maps of the town, and Eden has turned into its own character. This is the picture I bought to give me a visual of the town from Fotolia. com
I love stories where the setting becomes the focal point in the story. Stories like Gone with the Wind where Tara breathes with a life all its own. Without Tara there is no Scarlet O’Hara. They are, in a sense, one and the same. And it works.
I didn’t plan on Eden, Texas becoming such a driving force in my series but somehow it managed to do just that. Originally, I made the decision to use a fictional town because it would be easier to map out. In the sequel my characters start off in San Antonio and I’ve included much of the research that I came across right down to street names and the town city hall. So I love to do the necessary research to bring a real setting alive, but there was something so invigorating about being able to create a setting from scratch. It was a lot of fun.
Somehow The Devil’s Defiance took an usual turn and I ran across a piece of research that became a part of the story as well. It’s fun to wander off the beaten path sometimes. My characters found a map to the San Saba mines, where legend has it that the Spanish missionary’s buried a cache of silver bars. This piece of lost history went wild in my head and I somehow ended up with a story that is a cross between Indiana Jones and The Wild, Wild West.
But there are parts of the story that return to Eden. The angst between three brothers who love each other, but hate to admit it to anyone, keep bringing them back together again. It’s a compelling thing: This family thing. As much as family drives us crazy we all tend to gravitate back to what we know and love. Family is such a huge part of my life that I’ve somehow ended up with a family theme in all of my stories. After all, home is where the heart is.
I normally use pictures and hand drawn maps to bring my settings to life. I spend entirely too much time house hunting on the web for a home I'll never even see. What about you? Do procrastinate by searching for pictures of your character's home or town? Does it have to fit perfectly for you?
I love stories about hometowns and small towns, where someone “comes home” after years away. What are your favorite themes in stories and have you recently read a story where the setting came alive for you? For those of you that write, do you like to write about real settings or do you like to create your own little town from your imagination?
Since I'm releasing The Devil's Defiance next month, I'm revealing my book trailer for the first time here. I hope you enjoy it.
The Devil's Defiance book two in The Devil Ryder series
Coming in September
New York City Lawyer Garret Ryder takes the law into his own hands when a vicious killer gets away with murdering his family. Nothing will stop him from delivering the justice denied him by the law he vowed to uphold. But when the killer kidnaps a judge’s daughter, his childhood sweetheart, he must decide if any price is too high to exact revenge.
San Antonio socialite Sophia Maria Osbourne doesn’t trust easily. With a dirty politician and a blackmailing judge for a father, she learned not to rely on anyone but herself. But when her father’s shady dealings lead to her kidnapping, she must place her faith in the man who stole her heart long ago, if she hopes to survive.