I’m currently editing my mystery novel, The Outsiders (to be published soon by Grey Cells Press), but I’m also working on other books when I have downtime. My primary work-in-progress is titled, The High Road. For me, coming up with titles is usually difficult, but with this book, the title practically jumped out at me.
When I first started planning the book, I knew it would be set in a small town in Colorado, one with a gold mining history. I knew who my main characters would be and I knew the premise. I even knew I would use, as a model for my town, a rustic old town I’d visited years ago when we lived in the Boulder, Colorado, area. But I didn’t want to use the real location. That got me thinking.
One of the most memorable drives I’ve ever been on was in the Rocky Mountains, not far from Golden, Colorado, home of Coors Beer. My husband drove on Interstate-70 and exited at Idaho Springs, an old mining town. We looked around town a bit, and then saw a sign advertising two more towns–Black Hawk and Central City—which we’d heard of, but never visited. Again, they were old mining towns, but these had been turned into tourist attractions with gambling casinos. Sounded interesting. So, we started driving on Virginia Canyon Road.
Almost immediately, the pavement disappeared. We were now driving on a narrow, winding, dirt road. The road climbed, twisted, and terrified me. We’d lived in Colorado for a while and were used to mountain driving—but this was extreme driving. No guard rails. Blind curves. Switchbacks. I wanted to crawl onto the floor so I wouldn’t have to watch. And yet, I was fascinated. After we reached our destination, we learned the nickname of the road we’d traveled: Oh My Gawd Road.
Ah, now that would make a good setting. So, I decided to place my rustic little mining town smack-dab in between Idaho City and Black Hawk. The protagonist—lucky woman (hehe)—gets to drive a small RV on that scary road. She’ll camp in an RV park called, The High Road Campground, near Preston, Colorado.
I still have a lot of work to do on the book, but if you’d like a sense of the setting, take a look at the video I found on the internet.