It’s been a long wait. For years I’ve viewed images online and logged into traffic cameras and Google maps to see the places I write about, watch the people, the traffic, the environment. Each time I did so a longing to visit ached in my heart. It was almost painful to experience them from afar, but I kept doing it—for research and to feed the longing to be there. I’ve seen glimpses of the Presidential procession after the inauguration, a blizzard smother Washington DC in its white blanket, a police van positon itself for a blockade, and hundreds of people go about their daily lives. And I’ve wanted to walk amongst them.
Choosing DC as the location for the White Rose series was an accident. It just happened. The story in my head just developed in the setting, and that was that. I chose Crystal City as the location of my character’s home as it had the underground infrastructure I needed for the plot, and now I’ve chosen it for our DC base during our trip.
New London was the result of a Google search of US Navy submarine bases. As simple as that. The moment I found out there was a museum which is home to the first nuclear submarine and one end of the base, I had to go there too.
What do I expect? I expect to find things to be different to what I imagine, but the same. I expect to add layers to the settings – how they smell, the light, the sounds – it will be a natural extension of what I already know.
What would I love to happen? An unexpected offer of a tour of Subbase New London (won’t happen), to meet active serving submariner (possible), to meet an FBI agent (not sure if I really want that, but I sort of do), see a submarine go past in the Thames River at New London (possible), a tour of an FBI facility (not under arrest, but as a visitor – again, not going to happen), and to be able to absorb as much as I can about the places and the people who live there.
I almost can’t believe it’s going to happen. If you ever wanted proof that dreams can come true, here you go.
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