When I write, I most often make up a city or town, give it a name, and I hardly ever specify where in the world we are. I think it’s because the first stories I wrote were set in Sweden, but after a few people mentioning that I was a Swedish author, I stopped placing my characters here.
I don’t want to be ‘the Swedish writer’, I just want to be a writer like everyone else LOL. There will always be something Swedish in the way I write, we always bring part of our culture with us wherever we go, and that goes for fictional places too.
But, I want people from all around the world to be able to pick up one of my stories and feel connected to it, sure the environment will always be kind of Swedish, but I don’t want it to be so pronounced that you feel you’ve been dropped into a foreign world (unless I write a foreign world).
But, Black Bird… I never name the city, just the streets, the shops, the pubs, the buildings, the little shortcuts.
I grew up in a small west coast city in Sweden. I left home at 16 and moved 1070 km (about 665 miles) up north, where I lived for four years, before moving south again. But no matter where I live, that city will always be home to me. Maybe I was homesick when I wrote it, I don’t know, but Black Bird takes place in my hometown.
So, today I’ve amused myself by ‘walking’ the streets through Google maps. You can’t get to all places, but have a look!
This house reminded him of where they’d lived when he’d (Arlo) been a little boy—it was happiness and freedom on a small piece of land with a tiny house. The town was a ten-minute drive away and while not as picturesque as the red wooden cottage, it still had some small-town charm going on. (Google maps don’t go in on small roads like this, but Arlo lives in here.)
Nash poured yet another beer down his gullet. The sounds in the bar were so fucking loud tonight—people everywhere, the same boring people.
A young blond was trying to get his attention by the bar. Nash recognized him, but it had to be a couple of months ago. He didn’t do repeats, and the sooner the guy got the message the better.
The bottom floor where they were sitting had the decor of an old-fashioned pub, tables and chairs in dark wood, and by the windows were booths made up of black leather sofas with tables screwed to the wall. The upper floor was more like a nightclub with a dance floor and its own bar. Luckily, the DJ hadn’t begun yet.
“What’s up with you today?” Gilbert frowned at him.
“Nothing. Tired is all.” (At Herman’s)
He (Arlo) slowed down as he neared the Big Square. It was a small square, but according to Holly, it was called the Big Square. When he came up close to the coffee shop, he turned left down a slope and there on his right was an apartment building. He checked the street sign to make sure he was on Tradesman Street and parked the car.
For a few seconds, he sat and looked around. The street was narrow, at the bottom floor of the buildings there were shops—a retro bakery, a fabric parlor, a travel agency, and one place that looked like a pharmacy and yet not. At the end of the street, right as it overlapped into a cobblestone road, was the local newspaper in a beautiful white stone building as old at the street itself.
Arlo sighed. It was a charming little town, but he shouldn’t be in the middle of it on a Friday night.
Arlo’s feet ached as he turned into the cobblestone road passing the newspaper building. He could see the river between the old wooden terrace houses, it snaked its way past town, dark and rapid and it would reunite with the sea by the Southern bridge. In daylight it would be beautiful, now it made him shudder.
Nash bolted out of there, jogged down New Street, crossed through the Bathhouse Park, and zigzagged through the narrow cobblestoned alleys of Old Town until he came out on Harbor Street. Ellis lived in one of the newly built apartment houses there, and he almost crashed into an old woman as he rounded the corner to his door.
After seven years of being on the move, Arlo Barman wants nothing more than a place to call home. But unbeknownst to him, Arlo is a caladrius healer, so staying in one place has never been an option. The compulsion to separate himself from those he’s healed is all-consuming and leaves him little choice but to pack up yet again.
Nash Silver is the only werewolf in his small coastal town. Living undetected in a human world is imperative for his kind, and he and his small circle of friends—a vampire and a psychic—have done so for decades. But Nash’s anonymous existence is jeopardized when a man with an enticing scent moves into town. From the moment Nash lays eyes on the stranger, nothing is more important than being close to him. Not even guarding his secret.
Arlo isn’t interested in a relationship or even a date, his past has taught him nothing good comes from it, but the rather pushy local popping up everywhere he goes has his heart somersaulting. If his heart is somersaulting or not doesn’t matter, because when Nash gets injured, Arlo is the only one who can save him.
Having used his powers, Arlo has to leave Nash and the cozy town he wanted to make his home, but can Nash survive being separated from his mate?