Updated: Apr 19
One of my favorite parts of writing is choosing the scene of the crime. I've written books set in the streets of Seattle, the tough neighborhoods of San Diego, and the winding branches of the Louisiana bayou.
This time, I'm setting my FBI thriller in the misty mountains of San Jacinto. It's a place that I've camped at often throughout the years with my family. There's a really fun little town up there called Idyllwild. It's small, a few thousand strong, but the tons of visitors from the surrounding cities in the Inland Empire keep things jumping. It's a great place for art lovers. There are a ton of little shops, a few unique restaurants, and some great coffee shops. And best of all, their mayor is a dog named Mayor Max II. I've met him. He's adorable.
Because there is no snow offering the mountain has remained undeveloped and is a favorite of hikers and campers. There is a little stream that runs through the middle of town where wild strawberries grow. There are also a lot of really interesting people. The town has a large artists community. And they also throw the Idyllwild Cinema Fest in March every year.
A little bit higher up the mountain are smaller communities like Fern Valley, Pine Cove, and more. All with the loveliest little cabins. So of course...I had to totally imagine what could go horribly wrong up there. :)
My newest book takes place in and among the small communities hidden in the pine and oak forests. The landscape is beautiful, particularly in winter, but I've also gotten turned around in the approaching dark. There's a lot to respect in the forest. Especially in the dark. My main character, Ava Cortes, loves to immerse herself in the towns and cities where she's hunting criminals. I can't wait for you to discover this unique, secluded spot with her. You never know what kind of surprises the woods can hide.
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