Because that's where Charlie Street, the heroine in my new urban suspense series lives. Charlie is a bit like the city...edgy, sexy and fun!
Charlie is a Detroiter, born and raised in a city that's hit rock bottom and is valiantly struggling to regain it's once proud stature...like the Phoenix bird rising from the ashes. The city's 200 year old motto, "Speramus Meloria - We Hope for Better; it Shall Rise Again," is oddly ironic...or prophetic, depending on your point of view.
After spending a lot of time here, I realized Detroit is the perfect setting for my Street Law series. The city is gritty and vibrant and alive with possibility. In some areas factories and homes have been burned out and stripped of anything of value...a target of thieves, and I've been warned about going into these areas for research. But I've not been swayed. I believe in the hands on approach and so far, it's all good.
Other areas hold a unique stock of amazing architectural monuments in various stages of decay or refurbishing. Metro Detroit and many pockets "in the D" are experiencing a resurgence; new loft apartments, restaurants, bistros, brew pubs and artists' enclaves have sprung up throughout the area.
Detroiters are equally unique, from street people to millennials, hipsters to rappers, vegans, city farmers, businessmen , artists and musicians...and the old guard still living in mansions in Grosse Pointe and on Lake St. Clair. I think this eclectic mix makes a unique and fascinating setting for the Street Law series and will give Charlie lots of opportunities to help people in trouble...or make some of her own.
Here are a few photos from my research, so, when you read STREET (the prequel) and DETROIT RULES, and the upcoming next book in the series, DETROIT HUSTLE, you'll have a pretty good visual of the city our crusading attorney/PI Charlie Street inhabits...and even her favorite haunts, like Slow's Bar-BQ.
Let me know what you think when you read the books. Do you get a sense of place. Can you feel the city's heartbeat?
That has to be it. Otherwise, why would I create this blog page?
I hate writing blogs.
I’d rather be writing novels. I’d rather be researching my books. And taking photographs. I’d rather be reading a good book…eating chocolate and drinking wine. I’d rather stick needles in my eyes.
Hey, don't look at me like that. Writing a blog means I should regularly produce a bunch of great content, say something pithy, and/or write funny stuff and make people laugh. I know lots of writers who can and do all of the above.
Me... I just want to chat about books and writing and publishing and a lot of other stuff that crosses my mind.
And, seriously, what is there to add to the kabillion voices fighting to be heard on the kabillion forms of social media? It’s fierce out there.
So what evil incubus forced me to create this blog page?
Well, it turns out no evil incubus is involved. Just my readers who say they like to keep up with what I'm writing. And I LOVE my readers, some of whom have been flipping pages in my books since my first published novel sixteen years ago.
Readers…I owe you. For you I'm going to do…uhm…cough...something resembling a blog. How about we just think of this as a place where I keep you updated about my books and occasionally talk about whatever else comes to mind.
Coming to mind right now is a suggestion from one of my wonderful readers that I share a bit of my research as I’m writing my books. I like that idea. Most of my die-hard readers know I love to travel and that I spend a lot of time in the worlds my characters inhabit. I like to mingle with locals and with people in the same professions. And I take lots of photographs. Sharing some of the photos of the places my characters live, work and play might be a little like seeing a movie preview...a visual of upcoming stories. I could even share an excerpt here and there to see what you think.
You know...this could actually be fun. Because it’s not a blog.
Watch for my next Not-a-Blog post coming soon.
And check out the research photos below. All are places where Charlie Street, et al, hang out in both STREET (prequel) and in DETROIT RULES, the first book in my new Street Law series.