Friday, May 3, 2013


Since my latest James Bishop thriller, BACKTRACK, has just come out in p'back, I thought now might be a good time to give a little insight on how I came up with the various real-life locations that can be found in the book. And the answer is: since much of the novel is set in Arizona I flew over and drove around the state until I found what I wanted. Simple, eh?

Now there'll be a slightly more detailed retelling of my research trip on my Facebook page pretty soon, so to avoid repeating myself I'll keep things on a more pictorial level for this particular blog post (you lucky people you).

So first up, we have a funky apartment complex in Coolidge, Arizona that kind of serves as Bishop's base of operations throughout much of the story (rear and front shots):

Next up, Coolidge's City Hall, which I used as an example of Saracen's business section. Further back is the town library, which plays a small cameo in the book when Bishop needs to check some town maps:

Bishop gains intimate knowledge of the interior of Saracen's Police Department building during BACKTRACK, which I completely made up. However, the exterior was based on Coolidge's police building with its distinctive cantilevered roof:

Here's a long-abandoned motel I found out in the middle of nowhere, with its dilapidated sign still out front. In the book, I reopened the motel for paying customers, spruced it up a little and used it as Clarissa Vallejo's temporary accomodations. I also liked the name so I used that too:

At one point Bishop has to use the rear entrance to surreptitiously get into the Garrick Medical Center. For this I borrowed the rear entrance of the hospital in Globe, Arizona:

At a later point Bishop has to wait for an important call at a public phone box. Since there aren't too many of them around anymore I was glad I found these outside a store in Wenden. I even made a minor supporting character out of the Latino guy at the end there.

A couple of shots of a garage in Salome, Arizona which I used as a basis for Bannings Automotive in Saracen. The oxyacetylene cylinders play a fairly important part in the book too, in case you were wondering.

This closed-down retro department store in Coolidge isn't in the book, but I thought this was such a cool shot I thought I'd share it anyway. Just look at that sky:

And finally, yours truly, looking very much at home in his Ray-Bans (fake) and baseball shirt (Fruit Of The Loom, 3 for a tenner on eBay):

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