Archive for 'San Jose'



Road Show
by Annette McCleave on October 13th, 2009

I’ve been lucky to have traveled a few places outside of my native Canada. My dad was in the military, so we spent four years in Germany when I was a kid. That allowed me to visit the top of the Eiffel tower, sun on a beach in Spain, and ski the Swiss Alps. No kidding. Of course, I was under ten years of age at the time, so it wasn’t the experience you might think. Still, it made the notion of exotic locales attainable in my mind.

In later years, under my own steam, I watched the sunset on Waikiki Beach, traipsed the halls of Cawdor Castle, and rode a camel in the Australian Outback. Yes, there are camels in Australia. Imported, of course.

Cawdor Castle, Scotland

Cawdor Castle, Scotland

When it came to choosing the primary setting for my Soul Gatherer series, I ventured south, but not as far south as you might imagine. I chose San Jose, California. Why? Because I knew my heroine worked for a high tech firm and San Jose is in Silicon Valley. I also knew my villain hid in the mountains, so I wanted a town or city tucked in close to the hills—yet not too far away from the big city.

San Jose is perfect. Fairly quiet crime-wise, yet big enough to have regular city problems to disguise the activities of my nasty demons. The terrain of the nearby hills (where my Gatherers eventually set up a base) is rugged and yet charming, not unlike the warriors themselves.

Lake Almaden

Lake Almaden, San Jose, California

My hero Lachlan ventures into San Francisco a time or two, and travels down the coast to San Diego. He also visits Death in her ice cave cathedral in Antarctica. Antarctica is the perfect backdrop for Death—icy cold, ruthlessly bitter, and yet incredibly beautiful.

My daughter and I made the 21-hour journey out to Australia, because we both wanted to go and she had wanted to visit since she was the ripe old age of two. It was the trip of a lifetime. Is there one place you wish you visit but never have? Have you ever read a book that took you there?