May 19, 2010
Why do you set so many of your novels in California? Why don’t you set one in Virginia?—Ronnie, Virginia
I do so much research for a novel that I try to spare myself additional research regarding the locale. Consequently, I prefer to set my books in territory with which I’m deeply familiar—largely here in California, but also in Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. When I set BROTHER ODD in the Sierra Nevada, in California, I thought I had spared myself locale research—then too late realized a great deal of the novel would take place not in the mountains themselves but inside the monastery. I didn’t know a lot about monastic life. I sure do now.