Tag Archives: researching settings

Scoping out locations for your novel #2: Road Trip! (The Airport)

While I was researching sites in Southern New Jersey, I needed a farm that was close enough to point A and also within 20 miles of an airport.  I found many farms in South Jersey, but one was perfect.  It was right smack dab between the two other locations, and it was surrounded by woods (which I also needed.)

I was alone with the kids that weekend, so I figured we’d make a day-trip out of it.  I didn’t tell them where we were going.  What we did is drive the route that my characters from “Fire in the Woods” would be running. We went in reverse order and visited the airport first.  My oldest son and I jumped out of the car.  At that point, I told him that I was scoping locations for my book.

Yes, the Monomaniacal Middle Grade Reviewer was totally into it.  The two younger ones were already “over it.”

I was a little nervous, because I had already written a lot of my story just from Google Earth and other sky maps.  Would the location be as good in real life?

The first thing that struck me was the chain link fences surrounding the runways.  I guess I should have thought of that.

“No problem,” I whispered.  “The tanks with just run right over those.”

“Tanks?”  my son asked, a big smile on his face.  “What are you gonna do, Mom?”

I just smiled.

He laughed.  “You’re gonna blow it up, aren’t you?”

Yeah, my son knows me pretty well.

I couldn’t get out to the runways, although I probably could have gone inside and asked for a better look, but I didn’t have my business cards or anything.  I could see all I needed, though.  Long runways, surrounded by a thick forest on one side, and a lot of trees on the other… out in the middle of no-where.  It was perfect.

There was something else fun, too.  A big re-fueling tank.  Ah, the joys of hundreds of gallons of gasoline, just sitting there, waiting for me to…

Yeah.  This location was perfect.

We were only there for a few minutes, snapped a few pictures, and then it was off to the farm.  Excited now, I was hoping the farm would be as good.

Have you ever visited a location for your novel?  How did it go?