Another important part of a story is the setting, or where a story takes place.
The setting in Talents is just as important as the plot and characters. It’s part of what drives the story.
Lincoln Square is a fictional city based on the real life area in which I grew up. We lived blocks away from Riverview, Baden, and North St. Louis City. Some of my earliest memories were driving through these areas to places like the St. Louis Zoo and Forest Park, the St. Louis Symphony, and the St. Louis Arch. I remember admiring the old, brick houses. They had character. I loved them! Even after I married and had kids we lived in this area. I jogged and biked on trails that went from my house all the way to the St. Louis Arch. We ordered take-out from little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants and got donuts from a shop that had been there for 50 years.
Like any city, you could drive for blocks, seeing only houses that were in good shape, well cared for, with well-kept yards. Then you’d hit blocks of vacant buildings. Some of those houses were beyond repair. Sometimes the city had torn down houses and put green space or playgrounds in their place. I taught 5-Day clubs in these areas, did summer outreach in these areas which weren’t all that far from my home.
Ponticello’s was an old, family owned restaurant in Baden. They’d been on that corner of Riverview and Bellefontaine Road for decades before they closed. I only got to eat there once or twice but their food was delicious!
Even today, I look at my hometown and see, not what it is, but what it was and what it could be if enough people cared to make the investment in it. It needs jobs. It needs better schools. It needs people willing to make the investment in their community.
That’s what I wrote into my book – people willing to invest more than just money to make a difference in their community.
You can see the book trailer for it here. The graffiti images in the trailer tell a lot about the setting and plot of the book. You can also pre-order the book on TouchPoint and on Amazon. It will be available for purchase tomorrow! 😀