Research Can Be Fun

So, I sat down to get the background info I need for my Red Hot Fairy Tale. What I already knew:

  • Takes place in a major city like New York. 
  • The offices of the company are in a big high rise, a really nice high rise that is more than the company should be spending on offices. 
  • The heroine lives in a nice apartment complex within walking distance and must have a doorman. 
  • The heroine's sisters go to a boarding prep school and Ivy League college that are within a couple hours drive of the city. 
  • The company was originally located in a rural community an hour to a couple of hours outside of the city in a very pretty area. 
  • The hero is staying in a super nice hotel near the offices of the company.
  • The hero has purchased a house within two hours drive of the city that sits on a lot of wilderness.

So, I start out with trying to find the company location. I switch the city to San Francisco as I feel it will match the company better (and I know more about the surrounding area). I search business district and through wikipedia find a website profiling the Financial/Business District of San Fran. This website leads me to the perfect office complex right near the waterfront that is actually a little mini city and there's a very high end hotel right next to it (perfect for our hero's temporary home). I find an apartment complex close to the companies headquarters but it seems a little too nice for my heroine. She's practical and would have a hard time spending that much money, but then I find a second one even closer than the first (one short block away) and it's nice but not super nice. Perfect and it even says in the brochure that it has 24 hour doormen  (Yeah!). I give her father the first apartment complex I found as he is more a dreamer and likes to live beyond his means. Another crucial scene occurs in a romantic restaurant that needs to be close but not too close (scene in car negates it being too close). Low and behold a "one of the most romantic restaurants" looks to be the perfect location.

Now, outside the city I have two other crucial locations which is where my general knowledge of the area comes into play, I pick a seaside community know for the artsy, crafty, free thinking, etc. LOL for where she grew up and the company's original location. I decide to go in the different direction to locate his remote house about two hours away from the city in a very beautiful area.

The sisters are now going to Stanford, one Freshman and older in grad school (I was getting irritated with trying to find a prep boarding school that fit what I wanted, I know, I could have made one up, but I think this might actually fit the story better).

So, there you have it, my location for my story has been mapped out and I'm feeling good. I even printed up a google map that shows me all the crazy one way streets in San Fran.

Will all these street names, etc. end up in the story, probably not, but it gives me a better feel of the length of scenes as I have a lot of running back and forth between various locations.

Now onto naming...


  1. Wow! Angelia, that is amazing. My first thought was, "Well, why not just make one up?"

    I'm glad you went the route you did, though, 'cause I am totally anxious to read your book. Keep up the good work. May I suggest drawing a rough map within your book, somewhere? I always love seeing and re-referring to them, while I read. It sort of makes the book come alive for me.

    So, hurry and get that book published so I can read it, already. :-)

    ~ Just Joany
    Red Wagon Flights

  2. I did think about making up my city, the buildings, etc. But it started with wanting it to take place in a real city which followed by do they even allow living spaces near the business spaces. I know in smaller cities (like where I've lived) there are rules against that. What type of businesses are housed in the high rises? And on and on. But everything was actually surprisingly easy to find out.


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