The idea for New Duet ruminated in my mind for a while before I chose a setting. During that time, my husband and I went to a First Friday celebration. (Aurora, Illinois has fun events downtown every first Friday during the summer, starting in May and runs until September.) The theme for that Friday was spotlighting local artists.
My husband and I walk around downtown visiting art galleries and stores, bars and restaurants that featured artists and photographers’ offerings from Aurora and surrounding areas.
When we visited some artist’s studios, I knew my characters would meet in Aurora. Isabella has an art degree from a Chicago art school and yet, she married a music minister and never create art again.
Isabella needs to rebuild her life after her husband’s untimely death. Resurrecting her art muse in a city that supports the arts was a perfect plot twist.
Aurora has a diverse ethnic population of over 200,000. Museums, fun restaurants and the beautiful Fox River gave me scene settings—not to mention possible date opportunities in Chicago, 70 minutes to the lake shore by car. The local college and wonderful local architecture play a part in my story.
The biggest challenge for me is I’m directionally challenged. My sweet hubby double-checked all my physical references and made sure they were on the correct street and my characters were headed in the right direction.
An extra bonus to placing my setting in Aurora are local book signings. I’ll be signing books at If These Walls Could Talk this summer. This lovely framing store is also a gallery for local artists to display their work.
A wonderful scene in New Duet takes place in that shop. The co-owner and gallery manager, Jennifer Rauch was happy to feature me on…drum roll… First Friday in August. What a great cycle of creativity.
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If any of you are in the Aurora area the First Friday in August come by and say hello. I’ll be sharing more behind the scenes things from New Duet in future posts. Don’t miss out. Subscribe.