Last year, we invited author Paula Weston to give us a tour of the Australian setting for her paranormal romance book Shadows, the first book in her Rephaim series. With the North American publication of its sequel Haze, we thought it’d be fun to have her back to show us some of the places that inspired the new book!
A Tour of the Settings in Haze
by Paula Weston
Like many writers, I have a collection of images that help inspire me or put me in the right frame of mind to write a particular scene.
For the Rephaim series, I’ve created an eclectic (private) Pinterest board crammed with all sorts of weird and wonderful bits and pieces. More than a few of those images relate to locations. Some are mine, some are images I found online. I love Google images when it comes to research. In fact, the images Google offered in response to a couple of my searches inspired two key buildings in Haze.
So here, I’ve provided a few of the images from my Pinterest board and what locations they relate to – including those inspired by Google.
In Haze, there’s plenty of action set in and around Pandanus Beach (named after the palm tree below). This particular shot was taken on North Stradbroke Island in Queensland, Australia (not far from me). It was one of my inspirations for Pan Beach (along with Noosa Heads and Port Douglas – both also in Queensland).
Rick’s Bar in Pan Beach again features, this time as the scene of a game-changing pub brawl. The Central Hotel in Port Douglas is kind of how I picture Rick’s.
I chose a worker camp in Dubai as a ‘safe house’ location for the Outcasts so I could show the contrast between their lifestyle and that of the Sanctuary Rephaim back in Italy. My husband and I visited friends in Dubai a few years ago and they drove us around one of these camps. It was quite an eye-opener. This image isn’t one of mine, but it captures the look and feel of the camp Rafa and Gaby visit. (Image from Bloomberg)
I knew I wanted the Outcasts to end up back at the club in Los Angeles mentioned in Shadows. The Outcasts have such a dark history with the place, it was perfect to send them back there, especially with Gaby in tow. I was trying to imagine what the back door to the club might look like. I did a few random Google searches and this was one of the images that came up. Straight away I loved the medieval look and the cage, and decided I wanted the back of my club to look like that. (In actual fact, I think it’s the front door for a place called Back Door Lounge in Sacramento).
In Haze, there’s a farmhouse with particular significance, and I’d decided to set it in Iowa (something about a field of dead corn appealed to me). I haven’t been to Iowa, so I started googling ‘farmhouses in Iowa’. I got lots of images of cute houses nestled in cornfields and then this image came up and completely changed the way I was approaching the scene. I could imagine this place in my story and how my characters could react to it. It’s as alien in its landscape as the fictitious family that spend time there. And yes, this is an actual farmhouse in Iowa.
Melbourne (in Australia) has amazing laneways tucked around the city centre, packed with restaurants, cafes, bars and exclusive boutiques. This photo shows the kind of laneway Gaby and Maggie are in when they go dress shopping. If you visit Melbourne, make sure you check out these streets!
I love Tasmania. (If you’re not familiar with the place, it’s the island state at the southern tip of Australia. We Australians tend to call it ‘Tassie’.) The capital is Hobart, which is famous for its docks on the Derwent River. In Haze, something fairly important happens at Constitution Dock, pictured here.
And finally, towards the end of Haze, Gaby and company end up back on the mountain. This time they’re at a campsite near a massive banyan tree with roots sprouting down from its branches. Here’s a shot of a similar tree not too far from my home. It still fascinates me every time I see it, and I thought this sort of vegetation would fit well with the events that unfold on the mountain.
Thanks for inviting me back to the Midnight Garden. :)
Thanks for joining us on the blog, Paula!
Have you read the Rephaim series? If you’re a fan of books featuring sexy angels, you should definitely try this one!
Photographs were provided by the author, and a review copy of Haze was provided by the publisher.