Guest Post: Grace R. Duncan on Location Research

The awesome Grace R. Duncan is here today to talk about her new novel, No Sacrifice. There’s a giveway, too, so be sure to comment!

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First off, many, many thanks to Shae for sharing her blog space with me today. I am here today to talk a bit about my upcoming release, No Sacrifice. Most of the time, research for me involves getting onto Google maps and clicking around an area. I am sure Google has save many an author quite a bit of money in research. Once upon a time, if we wanted to know what a place looked like, we had to hope we had someone who could take pictures for us and mail them to us or we had to actually travel there. But now we have the amazing thing that is the internet. Along with pictures from individuals, we have the wonder that is Google Maps Street View.

When I started to write No Sacrifice, that’s the first place I went. I didn’t live in Southern California. I’d never lived in SoCal. In fact, I’d only ever driven through it a few times. (And that was almost all highway. Yes. Highway in LA. Yes, I was nuts. Moving on…) So, while I had vague information, I had nothing solid. To Google I went and was able to find a place I felt comfortable setting my boys down and started to explore. I managed to get a real feel for what the area looked like, what kind of apartments they’d have, the general restaurants in the area and everything.

Then I got the opportunity to go to BentCon in Burbank last November. By this time, much of No Sacrifice had been written. But I figured I’d be able to see if I needed to change anything, at least. Well, as happens with most cons, I spent the vast majority of the weekend in the hotel.

But I did take a nice walk down to the shopping center and on the last day, the wonderful Rhys Ford took me into the main part of Burbank for a drive through!

1Oh the pictures! Like this one that I took as we started toward the top of the mountains.

In the story, the characters visit a restaurant called “The Castaway” (the research I did for that! O.O), which was up on the top of the mountain, overlooking Burbank and LA in the distance. Rhys was kind enough to drive me to the top and let me get a few pictures.

20131111_133903 This is the best one I managed of the entrance. As I neither had the time nor wanted to inconvenience Rhys any further, I didn’t get a great shot myself of the view. But The Castaway website has one up and that was what originally sold me for the scene in the book.

Beautiful no? Courtesy of The Castaway Burbank website.

Beautiful no? Courtesy of The Castaway Burbank website.

If you look to the left of the mountains, you can just see downtown LA peeking up there. I’d have loved to see that in person!

We bobbed and wove our way down into Burbank and as we took the turns to head back to San Fernando, we passed this neat apartment building.20131111_134804It was like the image had been plucked from my head and slapped down on the street.

A second view of the same building. It was almost TOO perfect.

A second view of the same building. It was almost TOO perfect.

Once we got back on San Fernando, which runs parallel to the freeway and seems to be the main road in that part of Burbank. As we made the turn, I noticed a diner just a little ways down. It was almost exactly as I had imagined in my head. I did not see it when I’d gone through on Google Maps. (I have since seen that it’s there, but it’s not quite as clear in Street View as it would have needed to be for me to write it quite so exactly.) Then, to top it off, I found another restaurant in the area (a bit away, but still in Burbank) that even serves the same food Pablo’s does! That really made my day.

20131111_135037 A few blocks down the road, in the correct direction I wrote about, I found this place:20131111_134948 (1) Though it’s slightly nicer than I describe Benny’s to be, it too, is almost exactly how I imagined. I was starting to freak myself out a little!

Our tour of Burbank was at its end from here. It was really cool to be able to see a lot of places that I’d imagined and discover so many of them existed.

I can’t decide if I have a really good imagination or if I should be just a little afraid. 😉 Do you think it’s possible to tell when an author hasn’t been to a particular real life location and written about it? Do you feel that working in details like we’d get from pictures like this makes the reading richer or is it overkill?

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Patrick has taken his acting talents from high school all the way to a role in a major television show. But as the show progresses, his life of absolute certainties crumbles when he finds himself reacting to the kisses of his male costar. He refuses to accept it, reminding himself he’s married and a father—and thus, straight.

One night he goes to drink his worries away, meets Chance Dillon, and can’t take his eyes off the man. After having a little too much alcohol, he spills his problem to Chance, who helps him realize there’s something other than gay and straight. Patrick’s new understanding of his bisexual identity helps him sleep better—until the next day, when he discovers Chance is a sound technician on the same set.

As their friendship grows and Patrick’s marriage ends, he recognizes a possibility for much more with Chance. But Patrick isn’t ready to be out the way Chance has been for so long, and when the matter is taken out of Patrick’s hands, he pushes Chance away to spare him the mess Patrick’s life has become. By the time he realizes his mistake, it may be too late.

Preorder No Sacrifice here!

Thanks again to Shae for hosting me today! She totally rocks! Be sure to leave a comment. One of today’s commenters will win any of my backlist titles in e-book format. Also be sure to enter my giveaway for a chance to win some really neat prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

While the physical stuff is for US only, I am more than happy to send a signed, decorated bookmark or the like internationally. Feel free to contact me anywhere below.

Author Bio: Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areasnoh8, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

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One response to “Guest Post: Grace R. Duncan on Location Research

  1. Denise Dechene

    Sounds like a good read. 🙂