Saturday, June 26, 2010

Chicago 4.0 by Chloe Neill + Giveaway!

Chicago locations by Chloe Neill

Chloe Neill, one of my favorite writers, is releasing a new book in July.  To help spread the word, I asked her if she'd write a guest post about some new Chicago locations we'll see in Twice Bitten and other future releases (note:  all the photos above were taken by Chloe herself).

Hello, everyone! I'm writing this from the Loop neighborhood in downtown Chicago, just across from the Chicago River and a few blocks from Lake Michigan. I'm in town for today's 25th Annual Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk--and I'm proud to say we've raised over $1,800 to date!

I'm also here to location scout for the next Chicagoland Vampires novel--the follow-up to July 6's TWICE BITTEN--which will be released in July 2011. During my last scouting trip, I visited Ukrainian Village and checked out church architecture, and did a bit of scouting through Wicker Park and down Damen Avenue. You may recall that Mallory's house is a Wicker Park brownstone, and a good chunk of TWICE BITTEN takes place in Ukrainian Village, including a church modeled after St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.

This time, I'm mostly scouting locations in the Loop, looking for some interesting sites for both the Dark Elite and Chicagoland Vampires series. St. Sophia's, the boarding school in FIRESPELL, is located just north of the Loop on Erie, so I'm looking into locations in which it might be interesting to host future Dark Elite events. I'm very excited about the Rookery, which has a fabulous exterior and gorgeous interior. I also love the industrial look of El track struts, and can only imagine vampirish things occur there.

I also got to pay my first visit to Chicago's amazing Harold Washington Library, with its gorgeous stone facade and owls perched on the corners. It's also ginormous, and the 9th floor hosts an amazing indoor "Winter Garden" space with a greenhouse cage-like roof.

[Little known fact: In the first draft of SOME GIRLS BITE, Ethan and Merit met for the first time outside the library. She was brooding over the fact that she wouldn't be able to visit the library during business (daylight) hours. He feared she'd expose herself to the sun waiting for the library to open, and came to her rescue. It was so NOT appropriate for their personalities.]

I also got to pay a visit to the fabulous Field Museum--Chicago's natural history museum. The Field Museum will play a key part in a future Dark Elite novel, so I wanted to get a look at the space and a feel for interesting scene possibilities--including the totem pole section of the Ancient Americas display. Truth be told, I also wanted to get a look at Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. Tres cool!

Also on the agenda for this trip: Another visit to Hyde Park and the University of Chicago, some purchasing of Blackhawks goods (!!!), and a little more Wicker Park action. It's amazing how much you can cram into a trip if you plan carefully. :)

Well, that's all for now. I've got to grab my maps and hit the road again. Thanks for reading today!

Thank you so much, Chloe!  I loved your "deleted scene" from Some Girls Bite, although dying to get into the library is going a little far even for me. ;)

twice bitten coverChloe Neill is offering a copy of Twice Bitten to one lucky reader of this blog! Just leave a comment on this post (make sure to include a valid e-mail address), and I will pull a name randomly.  US & Canada only; contest ends Sunday, June 27th, at 6 PM EST.

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