Earlier this month, I talked about real Colorado cities and towns I’d used as locations in my books, but now I want to talk about the fictional places I’ve written about. There aren’t as many of those, because they exist only in my head—and I need to be able to keep them straight! 😉 But let me tell you a little bit about them.
The fictional town of Winchester, Colorado, is located on the eastern slope, west of Colorado Springs. It’s a large town/small city surrounded by mountains.
This poor town has been through a lot and I realized a little over a year ago that so much had happened there, I was stretching the limits of believability, and I’ll tell you later in the post what I’ve since done to combat that. In the meantime, though, let me tell you about Winchester. I explained the process of coming up with the name and general concept in this post here, but the town has even evolved past that. For a while, I used that town as the main setting in most of my books because it was simple. I knew Winchester—and when you know something, it’s easier to write about it.
But it’s time for my books to move to a new home. Not only is the crime ridiculously high there (all things considered), but how many famous rock stars can come from the same small town? While I could make arguments for those concepts, I know it’s best to be real (and that’s what I prefer), so I can no longer use Winchester as a backdrop for my newer stories.
Just how many books have I used Winchester in?
Do you really want to know?
- The Nicki Sosebee Series (11 books as of this date)
- The Tangled Web Series (although Part II of Tangled Web was NOT in Winchester)
- Fabric of Night (a few chapters)
- Crossing the Line
- Laid Bare
- Then Kiss Me
- Bullet (Valerie’s from there and a few scenes take place there, although the bulk of the story takes place in other locations)
- Old House
- At least one of the short stories in Quickies
- Substitute Boyfriend
- On the Run (Kyle’s parents settle there when she’s in high school)
- To Save Him
Is that too many? I started to think so, and that’s why, as I began plotting an MC novel (yes, it’s coming someday), I decided I needed a new location. And that was how this next town was “born.”
While Winchester is in the Rockies, the fictional town of Dalton is located on the eastern plains of Colorado, southwest of Colorado Springs. They can almost see the Rockies from where they live…but not quite. It’s all wide-open space and lots of blue sky. Dalton, in my mind, is a little smaller than Winchester but not much. It’s definitely laid out differently in my mind—more “organized,” and that’s probably due to the fact that Winchester—in hilly terrain—had to work around the land whereas Dalton was flat and so the territory was “cooperative.”
The Codie Snow series is set in Dalton. Only one book has been released thus far but more are on the way. The MC series I’m planning (and have started writing) is also there. Other books? I’m not sure yet, but at least Dalton is now firmly established in my mind so I can use it if need be.
This little mountain town hasn’t been used much in my books, but it’s appeared a few times. It’s located about an hour away from Winchester, higher and deeper in the mountains—so the snow also gets high and deep in the winter.
Chipeta Springs has appeared in Laid Bare (Randi’s parents live there) and Savage. I might have used it in other books, but I can’t recall.
This is a creek/valley—a spread out community—not too far out of Winchester. It’s a major location in Fabric of Night until the heroine goes home. And, although I don’t mention it by name, it’s where the family goes for a picnic in To Save Him.
Knowing me and my imagination, it’s possible that I’ve made up other locations and just don’t remember, but these are the ones that come to mind. While parts of these places are molded by real places in my head, I do want to assure readers that these places are not real. You’ll never be able to visit these locations on a trip to Colorado. You can only enjoy them in my books. 🙂
What’s your favorite fictional place to “visit”?