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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Post by author of Secrets of the Red Box, Vickie Hall

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Guest Post by author of Secrets of the Red Box, Vickie Hall

When selecting a location for my book, Secrets of the Red Box, I wanted it to be a place I knew, a place I was familiar with. That ended up being Omaha, Nebraska. Now you might think, why Omaha? I actually wondered that myself, not that I have anything against Omaha - I lived there for nearly three years. What I liked about Omaha was that it represented a lifestyle reflected in the characters my protagonist, Bonnie, finds so unlike her own upbringing. One of the things about living in the heartland of America is how genuine the people are. I also knew I could add authentic touches about the weather, from the thick humidity of summer to the blizzard potential of winter. I could describe the landscape and know every detail.

The book takes place from 1945 to 1950, so even though I remembered a lot about Omaha, I wasn't around during that time period (despite how old I feel some mornings). I use the internet for a tremendous amount of my research, and am a stickler for historical detail. I came across the most fabulous item I think I've ever found - someone had scanned the entire Checker Cab Directory to Omaha, dated 1950. It listed all the addresses of every major office building, hospitals, schools, parks, and business you could imagine, not to mention apartment buildings and residential streets! So, not only could I validate what existed where during the time period, much of it still existed when I lived there. The guide also influenced where my characters went: Comento's Steak House, Chez Paree, Hotel Fontenelle, Brandies Department Store, and the Omaha Stork Club. This was such a valuable resource that I wish I could find a Checker Cab directory for every city!

One of my main characters, Glen, needed to visit the widow of his friend who was killed during the war. I chose Helena, Montana for that location. I lived in Helena and loved it there! I was able to mention Last Chance Gulch and a few other old landmarks of the area like Mt. Helena.

Although I don't always select a place I've lived to set my stories, this one was particularlly fun for me. I know that anyone who's ever lived in Omaha or Helena will recognize the authenticity of the location. And for those who've never even visited Omaha, I hope they'll appreciate the flavor of the setting.

Enter the Giveaway

  • $25 Amazon Gift Card or $25 PayPal Cash from Author Vickie Hall + copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US - Paperback, Kindle ebook - International)
  • Paperback copy of Secrets of the Red Box (US only)
  • Kindle Ebook copy of Secrets of the Red Box (International)

  • Ends 11/25/12

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Sharon x

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