By J. M. Stewart, author of Her Knight in Black Leather
With the release of Her Knight in Black Leather, I thought I’d tell you a bit about how I came up with the setting. Her Knight is set in the small town of Crest Point, Oregon. Although the town is fictional, it was inspired by a real town.
First I should start by telling you how Her Knight came about. This book went through a few revisions to get to where it is now. It originally began as the sequel to my first novel, The Playboy’s Baby. But the story grew beyond the limits of the first book, so I separated the two books. I started by changing names, and Logan James became Michael Brant. A funny thing happened when I did that. Up until that point, I’d been having trouble fleshing out the character. There was just something missing I couldn’t quite put my finger on. The minute I changed his name, Michael came to life.
But that’s another story. Back to my point. I have one, I promise. LOL. In changing the book, I also needed to change the setting. It didn’t take me long to realize where I wanted to set the story. It kind of jumped out at me, actually. I live in the state of Washington. A couple of years ago, my husband and I and our two sons took a vacation to Oregon. We drove down there and stayed at a campground. Living in the Seattle area, where it’s constant gray skies and it rains three hundred days a year (yes, really), we wanted two things: sun and the beach. So, we hopped in our RV and took a trip down to Oregon.
The campground itself was in the town of Astoria. It was a beautiful little seaside town. The part we drove through when we came off this bridge sat right alongside the water, beside the port. It was full of small shops and all these beautiful little houses. I’m determined to go back there one day. I remember coming off this bridge and driving into town thinking, “I have to set a book here, some day.” So when I needed a new setting for Her Knight, I knew exactly where I wanted to set it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of the town itself as we spent all our time on the beach. The beach, I believe, was actually down in Seaside. If I remember correctly, it was a good half hour drive from the campground. We so rarely get sun around these parts that we actually ended up with sun poisoning and had to go home a day early. LOL. The beach we went to was completely deserted when we got there. We drove our RV right out onto the sand.
This little town and this beach stuck with us all. Despite getting sun poisoning, we’re dying to go back. We tried to go back last summer, but unfortunately, the weather wasn’t permitting. It was a cold and rainy summer for us last summer!
Did you ever visit a place that stuck with you? I’d love to hear about it!