Writers And Their Chosen Settings – Jennifer Chase

“So much of who we are is where we have been.” – William Langewiesche

On Tuesdays, I post a guest blog by a writer about a special setting, real or imaginary, they chose for their work.

Today’s guest blog is by Jennifer Chase, author of Dead Game.



Dead Game – An Emily Stone Novel

The cold Monterey Bay quickly surrounded her petite body as she eased herself further into its icy grip.  She unconsciously took a deep cleansing breath and slowly let out an exhalation.

Fog deftly floated across the boat harbor at Gulls Landing, and then headed east with the usual aranormal flair. The atmospheric ghost continued to gradually suffocate the masts of nearby boats until they were no longer visible.

Her vision obscured only by the heavy coastal evening weather, but she knew the direction she needed to swim. A child’s life depended upon her expertise and there was no time for any mistakes. It was entirely up to her now.


I refer to the Monterey Bay in California in my novel Dead Game, which is a place where I’ve grown up and find myself gravitating back to its splendid landscapes. The actual “Gulls Landing” was a fictitious town, but you can find many small California coastal communities with boat harbors and small beaches that would fit my description.

Almost every Sunday I take a leisurely drive to this small, quaint coastal town to go for a long walk or watch my dog chase his favorite ball along the beach. It’s a place where I feel comfort and a sense of home especially after a hectic week. I put my busy schedule and to do lists on hold and just relax to breath and smile. It’s definitely not a beach that you’d expect to see many sunbathers, but it’s a place of solace – at least for me.

The seasons subtly change the surroundings as well as affect the level of the surf. I love to examine the understated changes and make a note in my mind at how everything feels, smells, and looks.  It’s a permanent imprint that I can draw upon any time because of my familiarity with it. It’s one of those rare places, at least for me, which I appreciate every time I visit.

I remember the day well when I was walking with my husband and two Labradors that the boat harbor struck me with such a dramatic impression. We had been walking for about forty-five minutes when the fog began to roll in. This time, the fog was extremely heavy, thick, and it looked ominous. As I looked around me, I felt like there was no one else left in the world. It was a strange, but powerful feeling. The boat harbor slowly began to disappear and you could barely see the body of the boats, just the masts.

At the time, I was in the middle of writing Dead Game. Then it struck me! I knew how I wanted to begin the novel with my heroine searching for a missing child. She would stealthily approach the boat where the abductor had the child in the water on a foggy evening. I could feel the chill and loneliness in my bones as I wrote the scene.


A big thank you to Jennifer Chase for sharing this guest blog about Monterey Bay. To read more of the story placed in this setting, be sure to click the links above or go to www.authorjenniferchase.com.

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