I feel it is fitting to re-open the blog with a guest post from the author of one of my favourite books, ANGEL, and so as part of the ANGEL FIRE blog tour, I hugely welcome the talented L.A. Weatherly who is here to talk about the setting of the sequel to much beloved ANGEL!
The Setting of Angel Fire
But then, of course, when it came time for Alex and Willow to discuss What Next, it was the most natural thing in the world for Alex to suggest going to Mexico. Because, you know – he spoke Spanish. And by then, I was so used to him as a fluent Spanish speaker that I hardly even thought twice. It wasn’t until later, when it came time to plan Angel Fire, that it suddenly hit me exactly what my hero had done. Holy cats, I had to set a book in Mexico! I’d never even been to Mexico. And Alex might have been fluent in Spanish, but I sure wasn’t.
My mental wheels spun for a while, trying desperately to think of a way out of this. (“OK, maybe they’re on their way to Mexico, but then something happens and they have to go back to the US! Yeah, that’s it!”) Finally, though, I knew that I had to resign myself to my fate: I’d promised readers a book set in Mexico, and that was that. So then came research. A lot of research. I read at least a dozen books about Mexico, and probably half a dozen more about Mexico City…because an exciting idea had started to form. Angel had taken place mostly in the wide, open spaces of America. So for contrast, why not set the sequel in Mexico City, and have a gritty, urban feel to it instead?
The more I read about the Mexican capital, the more I realised what an amazing setting I’d chosen – it’s one of the largest cities in the world; a place where Aztec ruins jostle for space beside Art Deco buildings; where the smell of spices from street-corner food vendors mingles with car fumes; where you hear the pulsing of rock music and of Aztec drums. During the writing of Angel Fire, Mexico City filled my senses: this chaotic, tilting city of concrete almost became a character in its own right.
The Catédral Metropolitana, the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Little does Mexico City know that it’s soon to become a Church of Angels cathedral…!
The outskirts of Tepito: one of Mexico City’s roughest barrios, where one of the characters is from. Entering it is like going into a dark, rustling tunnel, with miles of plastic awnings from vendors’ stalls overhead (or so we were told – it was strongly recommended that we NOT go there!).
The Angel of Independence is one of Mexico City’s most famous statues. A huge golden angel, holding a wreath to the sky? Excellent, I can use that!
Thank you Lee!
Watch out for my review of Angel Fire coming up, and don't forget the next stop of the ANGEL FIRE blog tour at Daisy Chain Book Reviews on 11th October for the ANGEL FIRE Soundtrack!