I've now set four books in Arizona with two more coming in 2015-- one a novella or short story (it's a work in progress) and the other a full length novel (which will be started in early January). It has to be obvious to any reader how much I love this part of Arizona.
The first time we came to Arizona, it was 1965 and my husband was going to graduate school at the UofA. We were here with friends and had some great times hiking around the desert. I got pregnant with what was to be our first born, who was born when we got back to Oregon.
It was several years later before we could introduce the desert to our children. 1972 and we came down with an old 15' trailer that had no air conditioning or inside bathroom. We bought one of those you dump them type potties and set it into the small closet. The kids slept on the bunk above us. The heat was often intense as we had to come close to the end of their school season and bring homework. Back in those days, teachers liked the kids having this sort of enriching life experience and sent lots of work along with us.
The years passed, lots of trips through all parts of Arizona and then the last one as a family when our kids were in college and heading off to build their own lives. We began to come back by ourselves.
It was 1998, when we had had Christmas in Georgia where our daughter then lived with her family which included a brand new granddaughter, that we flew back to Tucson with a serious intention of buying a second home here.
After looking at several possibilities, the realtor took us to this last one; it was love at first sight. It offered everything I had ever hoped to find in a Tucson home. By early 1999, we closed the deal, drove back down with a trailer full of furniture, and set up our desert home.
As well as I know Oregon, I know this part of Arizona, which means there are always new things to learn. I have had Christmases here as well as Thanksgivings and Easters. I've been here for the monsoons, seen it snow on the cactus and overall never had a reason not to continue to love it dearly. A few of the photos below give a few reasons why.
Arizona makes a very dynamic setting for stories whether historical or contemporary. Finding the right setting for a book is a big part of making it become real enough to write the story. Knowing it in all seasons, bringing it to life through scents and scenes, that's part of what makes it so much fun to write. Setting is one more character in the best books-- in my opinion :)
Uh oh, too many pictures for one blog. More Arizona next blog and more reasons why it's not only a great spot to visit, to live, but also to base a story.