Saturday, August 13, 2011

Road Trip!

Last week I spent a couple of days in lovely 80 degree weather surrounded by trees, mountains, lakes, and learned that standing at the top of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and looking down at the 1/2 mile drop is enough to make what are normally perfectly good knees go weak with terror.

Gunnison, Colorado, is the setting for Eternal Starling. When I started writing the book over three years ago, I knew I wanted the setting to be a real place. I needed a small mountain town with a small college. So, I did what a lot of authors do: I Googled. After combing through search results, I did a happy dance when I discovered Gunnison was the perfect fit for my vision of Eternal Starling.

I wanted to make sure I was being as true to the town and school as possible, so I did a lot of research as I wrote. I looked at pictures and maps of the town; researched Gunnison history, the surrounding recreation areas and mountains; and spent a lot of time on the Western State College website taking virtual tours and trying to make sure Evie's college experience was authentic.

I've been to Colorado many times, but last week was my first trip to Gunnison. The online research I did was great, but it was really nice to spend time driving around Gunnison, meeting people who live there, going to the stores, and visiting the Western State College campus. I was happy that my research paid off while writing the book, and there's not much that needs to be changed before Eternal Starling goes to print. However, there were a few things I took creative license with in order to make the story work, and people familiar with the area will notice those things. :)

I took some pictures while I visited, so you can experience a little bit of Gunnison too. Here are the photos, and some info. about how they relate to Eternal Starling.

The Western State College W near the college campus where Evie goes to school.

The main College Center building at Western State. A few important scenes in the book happen here.

Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison. Evie does a lot of hiking in areas near the reservoir.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. People actually climb this monster! Evie gets lost hiking here in the first chapter of the book.


  1. I've always wanted to go on a road trip. Looks like you had fun :-)

  2. I'm so jealous! The setting in my book is New England--way too far for me to visit. I'm sure that was such a fun experience being able to visit where your character's life unfolds!

  3. Petra-Road trips are tons of fun! You should definitely go on one sometime!

    Jamie-You could fly and rent a car! :) It was a lot of fun to see where things happen and get a better feel for the town.

  4. I don't know where I've been but I didn't know you had a blog, Ang! AAH! I'm so behind! :) Glad you had fun on your trip! Sounds amazing.