Why I spend my vacations in the Rust Belt…
So many of my thriller writing friends get to travel to exotic locales to research their books. Egypt, Paris, St. Petersburg, Monte Carlo…
Me? My research trips are to Pittsburgh, PA, Ansted, West Virginia, Blowing Rock, NC and other towns so small they don't even show up on Google Earth…
You see, my Thrillers with Heart aren't set in locales James Bond would frequent. Instead they're set in the heart of America, small towns with ordinary people facing the worst day of their lives.
The same kind of small town, rural setting that I grew up in, surrounded by mountains, the best trout streams in the world, and strip mines. And they feature the same kind of people. Men and women that could easily be your neighbor (or mine).
My thrillers are about what it takes to find the courage to make a difference, to learn how to be your own hero.
While I love exploring the gray ares between right and wrong, good and evil, I can't help but think…wouldn't it be neat to set a book someplace exotic?
So when St Martins Press bought my NYT Bestseller BLIND FAITH as the start of a new series featuring FBI Supervisory Special Agent Caitlyn Tierney, I thought, wow, here's my chance. Caitlyn could go anywhere…or could she?
You see, Caitlyn may be a kick ass federal agent who's tenacious and smart, but she's still learning how to be a hero.
Being a hero means more than closing cases and keeping the bosses happy. It means making the tough choices, understanding that justice has little to do with the law, knowing when to do the wrong thing for all the right reasons.
Which means she's always in trouble with her bosses…and very unlikely to get any plum assignments such as FBI legat in Paris or counter-terrorism liasion to Interpol in Brussels.
So instead of policing international gambling syndicates on the French Rivera, Caitlyn will be going where right and wrong are muddied together. Places where it's hard to know what a hero should do. Situations where the only thing she can trust is her heart.
Keep an eye out…there's a good chance she'll be coming to a town just like yours!
In the meantime, if you had a chance to set a novel anywhere in the world, where would you set it and why?
Thanks for reading!
As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart.
CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday).
Learn more about CJ's Thrillers with Heart at www.cjlyons.net and look for the first Caitlyn Tierney FBI thriller, BLIND FAITH, coming in July, 2012.