On view in the Inspiration Gallery:
images from the street that inspired Something Real
In the novel, Bonnie™ is always trying to get out from under the spotlight. No matter where she is, the paparazzi are following her.
Banksy on the wall of an LA gas station
I took this photo years ago when I was getting gas in LA. At the time, I had no idea that Banksy was perhaps the coolest person on Earth. I just really loved this particular piece of street art. Now, it reminds me of Bonnie™ and the "Vultures" who are always up in her business.
Camera statue in Culver City, CA
Street art in Europe, taken just after I got out of college
The LA Philharmonic Concert Hall, Downtown LA
This is one of my favorite buildings in the world, created by Patrick's favorite architect
On view in the fantasy wing:
Armchair traveler's delight:
The settings for Exquisite captive
EXQUISITE CAPTIVE primarily takes place in Los Angeles, but there are many scenes that occur in various exotic locales around the world. Here's a sneak peak. Keep checking in because I'll be spotlighting different settings every month, with lots more photos taken from my trips abroad.
Matador Beach, Malibu, CA
This is my favorite beach in the LA area. It's a gorgeous setting and very unique. This is where Nalia performs her Sha'a Rho exercises
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles
I loved writing the scene in the book that takes place here. This is one of the coolest spots in LA, with a great view of the city, gorgeous architecture, and one of the most unique gardens I've ever seen.
The Getty "labyrinth"
Can't beat the view
Arab Quarter, Singapore
Belly dancer in a sheesha(hookah) bar
Nalia often frequents a secret jinn club called Habibi. It's based on two places: the one above and the actual Habibi Cafe, which you can go to In Westwood (near UCLA).
This was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. My husband and I stumbled upon this guy while were in Pushkar for their annual camel fair. I have a jinn in Habibi who conjures a snake of his own.
One of the freakiest scenes I've ever written in my life takes place in a hutong in Beijing. I don't want to give anything away, so just trust me on this. The hutongs are my favorite part of Beijing. If you're ever traveling there, try to stay in one of these ancient neighborhoods.
Saint Petersburg, Russia
I absolutely adore this city. In a word, it's stunning. One of my characters takes a stroll along the famous Neva.
Valentine, an artist in Saint Petersburg, and I pose for the camera
Valentine makes a cameo appearance in Exquisite. I want to say I wish I'd had the creativity to make him up, but I'm glad he actually exits in this world. I bought two of his collages and remember him fondly to this day. Zdravstvuytye, tovarich!
This tiny town in the Rajasthan desert region of India was by far my favorite place I visited in my two and a half months there. It is utterly enchanting. Just don't let the monkeys steal your food and watch out for the camels' teeth. A rooftop much like the one you see in this picture has another of my creepier scenes.
I love this camel. He looks so self-satisfied. He's not in the book, but he's in the same town as two of my characters.
One of my characters lives in a tiny apartment off a side street like this one
A scene takes place during a raucous party on Las Ramblas, the city's famed pedestrian street. One of the best street parties I've ever attended was here.
This guy has a cameo in my Barcelona scene, just one of Las Ramblas' many performers.
Santa Monica, CA
This famous beach is adjacent to one Nalia and Leilan frequent. Love this Cali sunset.
Venice Beach, CA
Nalia uses one of these ubiquitous lifeguard houses to hide behind during a key scene in the novel.
The famous Venice boardwalk from behind. Leilan's stall would look similar to one of these.
Leilan's stall is across from the Venice Beach Freakshow. Yes, that kid is holding a huge snake.
More of Venice's character
One of my characters, Sergei Federov, is from Moscow. He's scarier than the Taiga in winter.
Saudi Arabia, Imagined
The Arab Quarter, Singapore
Malek, Nalia's master, is originally from Saudi Arabia. I haven't been to Saudi, but I've had several students from there, so I am somewhat familiar with the culture. I've been to a few regions where there are many Muslims and one of my favorite was the Arab Quarter in Singapore. The call to prayer was beautiful (though LOUD!) and the people were dressed so elegantly.