Playing around with wor(l)ds

“Really, it’s not hard to search the net for the biggest murder mystery Rockridge had ever witnessed. Rockridge is a small bedroom community of overpriced, turn-of-the-last-century period homes hugging the hills between Oakland and Berkeley. This case had been the town’s first real haunting since the Sundering and had been sensational enough to get noticed around the world.”– Val Ferrel, Oracle in Doubt

We should point out that Rockridge is actually a lovely place. It’s a subdivision in the Oakland Hills a bit northeast of Oakland city center with a lovely view of San Francisco.

Upper Rockridge

As far as we know, there aren’t any terribly haunted houses in Rockridge, and if there are, we are not basing our Becker House on any of them. We just liked a certain type of house that had certain types of features which might be attractive to a ghost. The Queen Anne architecture of the Flavel House in Astoria, Oregon, certainly appealed to both of us.

Flavel House Oregon
Flavel House, Astoria, OR (Credit: Michael D Martin @Flicker)

This house is not actually in Rockridge. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Because we’re setting our world just left of reality, it’s not accurate. You couldn’t draw a map and follow it anywhere. San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge fell when the psychic war set off the big earthquake and the Pacific made a new coast. The world we imagined doesn’t actually show up in book one, Oracle in Doubt, but the entire planet has been shifted.

That’s half the fun of writing–we can tweak our world just so and tell a fun adventure in a familiar but not-quite-real place.

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