More prominently than in any of my previous novels, the physical environment I depict in Dark Mind plays a pivotal role in the development of the story. Set on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, the book offers the stark contrast that those who visit the land will discover between the gorgeous beaches and breathtaking sunsets and the dense forests that are filled with strange shadows and rugged acres that are likely terrifying to anyone but a native. I chose the location following my own visits to Kauai, when of course I had my author mind on alert and realized what an amazing backdrop it offered.
So, that got me thinking . . . how would your hometown serve as the setting for a thriller novel? Are there certain buildings or roads or landscapes that lend themselves to a serial killer on the loose or a sting operation ready to unfold? Here are a couple of examples:
Chicago – The wind blazed through Anne’s hair as she walked along Lake Michigan and thought that winter always seemed to come too soon in her beloved city. While she busied herself with some window shopping along the Miracle Mile, someone from her past was watching her from 100 stories above, in the Sears Tower, and would soon give her chills unlike any December she had experienced.
Nashville – He had stumbled in and out of the honky tonks all night long, draining beer bottles and buying shots for any attractive girl who crossed his path. He was building up the courage to start on a quest that would be more violent and leave more broken hearts than any country song could hope to do.
I would love to read some of your ideas for using your town as an essential character in a story of crime and psychological terror. If you’re convincing, I just might need to make a visit and get some ideas for my next book!
* * *