The good old days were just last year–when we still felt safe getting on a plane to fly basically anywhere we wanted. Our last big trip inside the U.S. was to Portland, Maine, where we spent most of a week exploring the city and the surrounding area. Am I going to set a book there? Probably not because my changed worldview has made me think about using locations closer to home.
But back in the good old days, I loved traveling to new locations and exploring them–considering whether they’d make a good setting for a book. Some places are used over and over by authors: San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington DC, New York. Another favorite location is New Orleans which I first visited maybe 40 years ago. Our friends recommended a charming B&B at the edge of the French Quarter. I loved it so much that I set one of my heroes there in an early romantic suspense novel, In Search of the Dove. Everybody talked about how terribly hot and humid it was in New Orleans in the summer. That was true, but it wasn’t any worse than Washington, DC, in the summer–where I grew up in the era without air-conditioning.
I’ve returned to Louisiana a number of times since, both in person and in my memories, for books I was writing. From New Orleans, I branched out into the bayou country for another romantic suspense, Bayou Moon. I wish I’d given it another title because, of course, I now use “moon” in the titles of my werewolf books. Recently, I’ve explored the bayou again–in Cursed, one of my Decorah Security books.
The story combines lots of elements I love–spooky swampy locations with snakes and alligators, a brooding old mansion, and a voodoo curse. It’s also got a very eccentric hero who hires a Decorah Security agent to help him figure out who is murdering people near his plantation and making it look like the killings were done by the claws of a large cat. As you might suspect from the cover, the hero is a shifter. But not a wolf, and someone in town is trying to drive him away. That’s unfortunate because the curse chains him to the bayou. What’s the motivation for the killer’s campaign of deceit? Who’s responsible? And why does female Decorah agent, Morgan Kirkland, start having dreams of long-ago lovers who were cruelly separated by fate? There are a lot of puzzles in the mix, all spiced up with Louisiana gumbo.
NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her new romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.