Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Let’s Talk Locations! Carol Van Atta, author of Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids

Take a peek at the majestic Mt. Hood
The locations an author features in his or her stories play significant roles in the development of the story, plot, and characters. Some authors enjoy writing about faraway or imaginary places, while others choose locals they’ve actually visited. For me, I’ve done a bit of both in my writing. However, in Soul Defenders, I know exactly where my characters are going! No unknowns for me with these locations.

Take a peek at the majestic Mt. Hood
The primary setting, Cherry Creek, Oregon, is based on a small rural community called Eagle Creek. I usually change the name of the main town or city and leave the surrounding communities with their real names. This makes for a nice blend of fiction and reality, as well as, gives the reader an opportunity to play a part in imagining where the story is unfolding. I’ve also been told by readers familiar with specific areas that they enjoy trying to figure out what real location I’m alluding to.

Soul Defenders takes place in several Oregon locations. And, yes, I’m from Oregon and have written about Oregon in much of my work. Soul Defender’s opening scene mentions Mt. Hood towering in the background. When I’m writing, I truly envision the popular mountain and the communities that rest below.

The Historic Benson Hotel
Mt. Hood is also an active volcano, which plays a key role in the story. Characters also visit several locations in downtown, Portland, Oregon. 

The primary villain has a meeting at the historic Benson Hotel’s lounge. Runaway, Lily Howard, seeks drugs in Old Town and hides out in NW Portland with her new dangerous friends. 

Side note: NW Portland is a trendy area with numerous shops and yummy restaurants. Homes, lofts, and older apartment buildings are also prevalent. Take a look!

  Old Town, Portland, OR

NW Portland Neighborhood
 I chose to share a photo of a neighborhood in NW Portland where the houses are built snuggly together. This architecture is common for the area. When you read Soul Defenders, you will observe Lily and Vince walking a street just like this, with a demonic henchman and angelic warrior close on their heels ‒ one eager to orchestrate their demise while the other fights to save them.

Now that you’ve seen some of Oregon, who knows … maybe you’ll visit. But, more importantly, I hope this post has given you a taste of how locations in a book, like background music in a movie, influence our feelings and our reading experiences. Whether the world is one we can find in photos, a place we’ve imagined, or somewhere we’ve visited, it is crucial that we, as authors, present it in a way that is believable, making our story stronger.

If the world our character’s experience isn’t laid out in such a way that readers can clearly envision them, we need to rethink our approach to setting up locations. I want my readers to travel along with the characters as they fulfill their destinies.

After all, “seeing” is believing. 

Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids
Soul Defenders, Book One
Carol Van Atta

Genre: Christian Fiction/Thriller/Suspense

ISBN: ISBN-10: 1479246964
ISBN-13: 978-1479246960

Number of pages: 310
Word Count: 95,510

Cover Artist:

All other e-version available at Smashwords or through Amazon, Nook etc.

Book Description:

Will their prayers move Heaven's Heart before it's too late? 

When Ted Lyons accepts the new pastorate at Cherry Creek's Community Church, he has no idea just how handy his former law enforcement skills will become. A murdered pastor, the pastor's kidnapped wife, and their runaway daughter are only the beginning in a series of problems he wishes were part of a bad dream. Ted soon realizes he's facing a battle better fought on his knees, in prayer, than with his gun. 

As ruthless demons, summoned by an international cult - The Black Orchids - take over the town of Cherry Creek, angelic warriors are dispatched to protect the weary residents and stop a diabolical plan of destruction. By surrendering their lives to God and forming an unlikely alliance, Ted and a rag-tag group of struggling believers work together to slay the shadows of evil that threaten their very existence. 

This fast-paced tale of supernatural suspense will thrill fans of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness and Randy Alcorn's The Ishbane Conspiracy

About the Author

Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included) and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper. Devouring books from numerous genres, she developed a thirst for more reading materials and could almost always be found with her nose in a book. She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotionals, published by Zondervan and Regal Publications, and was a regular writer for Campus Crusade for Christ's Christian Women Today. Writing fiction is her greatest joy. Soul Defenders: The Black Orchids, is the first book in a trilogy of spiritual warfare thrillers.

1 comment:

Carol Van Atta, Princess Warrior said...

Thank you so much for hosting a spot on my book blog tour! I love your site! You made the post, with all the photos look fantastic. Blessings to you!