How real locations contribute to plot

DSC02587As I wrote my initial draft for DEGREES OF OBSESSION, I realized that I needed an image of the place where my protagonist, Charlie Pederson, and her long-lost college flame, Danny Shapiro, have their first romantic encounter after a separation of twenty-eight years. It had to be his home because at that moment in the story, she has accompanied her husband to his Medieval History convention in Los Angeles. Immediately a home came to mind, not located in Los Angeles but a few miles from my own home in Northern Calfiornia. I don’t know about you, but our family’s favorite outdoor sport on Sunday afternoons was visiting model homes and it’s still in my blood. One particularly boring Sunday afternoon some years before, I had dropped by a fabulous open house on the East Bay shoreline, which sported a drop-dead gorgeous view of San Francisco across the bay. The inside was as spectacular as the view with an unusual indoor atrium descending to the bedrooms below. Stained glass skylights cast colorful shadows on the rounded walls of the atrium, which were marked with the hours of the day in the manner of a sundial, a natural for a steamy romantic interlude. My BOOK TRAILER for DEGREES highlights this moment.

As the novel progressed I was stymied as to what would comprise the “battle scene”, that climatic moment when protagonist and antagonist play out the final chapter of a suspenseful and dangerous cat and house game. This time three real-life locations near Point Molate, all located within very close proximity, caused the plot to quickly fall into place. DSC02629

An old sportman’s club hidden in a small cove on San Francisco Bay, the ultimate place to take a hostage…

…a treacherous isolated road winding over a hill to a former military base, its Forties era officer housing standing pristine but desertedDSC02614, lending and then tearing away the hope of rescue…


…and a deserted medieval-looking brick winery, with ladder after ladder leading to a parapet, perfect for a final confrontation.



DSC02601I have created a Pinterest Board with other photos of the real-life locations that inspired the plot, mood, and character development of DEGREES OF OBSESSION.

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