Ten Real Places in My Novels
What?! Two posts in as many days? I'm impressed with myself. I'm not committing to anything, by any means, but I would like to post her at least once a week. Right now, I thought I would talk about some of the real locations that are mentioned in both of my novels: the one about Bonnie and Clyde (If All Roads Were Blind) and the one about Eva Peron (that doesn't exactly have a title, yet.) This isn't all of them but this is some of my favorites. Also, it just felt easier to make one post about both novels instead of two separate ones.
LOCATIONS IN IF ALL ROADS WERE BLIND:
The Barrow Filling Station
This is probably the location mentioned the most in If All Roads Were Blind. Clyde Barrow's family owned and lived in this building during Bonnie and Clyde's time on the run. The building actually served two purposes, the front was a filling station and the back was where Clyde's family (mostly his parents and his younger sister and brother) lived. Obviously, law enforcement kept a pretty careful watch on the filling station once Bonnie and Clyde went on the run.
2. The Joplin Apartment
Bonnie, Clyde, Barrow Gang member W.D. Jones, Clyde's brother Buck, and Buck's wife Blanche, stayed in this apartment in April of 1933. They would listen to music and play cards and go out to dinner. In the quiet, residential neighborhood they were staying in, they pretty quickly attracted attention. The police became convinced that they were bootleggers and went to the apartment with a warrant. Within a few minutes, two law enforcement officers were dead and The Barrow Gang was on the run. Without a doubt, the most interesting part about this location is that you can stay here, today. It's available on AirBnB and, as you can probably guess, staying here is definitely on my bucket list.
3. Victor Caruso’s Soft Drinks aka Marge’s Still
There is a scene in If All Roads Were Blind were, in the early days of their life on the run, Bonnie and Clyde find themselves in Chicago. And, this being the 1930's, they go to a speakeasy. In 1932, this building was known as Victor Caruso's. Today's, its Marge's Still.
4. Cokesbury's Bookstore
One of my favorite things I chose to do in characterizing my version of Bonnie was make her a bookworm. (She wrote poetry. Goodness knows, most writers are readers.) I thought it was so interesting, imagining what her interests might have been, you know, before her interest became a life of crime. So, anyway, there is a scene just before said life of crime begins when she and Clyde go to a bookstore in Dallas called Cokesbury's. He buys her The Beautiful and the Damned (most of the books or films mentioned have titles that are ironic in the context of the story. In this photo, Cokesbury's is in the background, on the left.
5. The Ambush Spot
Could I possibly end this list with any other place? Of course, this is where it all ended for Bonnie and Clyde, on May 23 of 1934, halfway between Gibsland and Arcadia, Louisana. They were ambushed by half a dozen law enforcement officers from two different states.
LOCATIONS IN THE #EVAPERONWIP
The Casa Rosada / The Plaza de Mayo
I couldn't possibly begin anyplace else. This is definitely the most iconic location in this novel. Maybe it should count as two different entries but…oh well. This is where the President of Argentina works, where people would come to hear Eva give speeches (there is a song in Evita literally called On the Balcony of the Casa Rosada, which precedes Don't Cry for Me Argentina), and where the descamisados came on October 17 of 1945 to demand Juan Peron's release from the custody of the Navy (long story, I'll explain later.) Not to mention, its just really, really pretty.
2. Luna Park Stadium
This is where, on January 22 of 1944, Eva met Juan Peron for the first time. They were both attending a charity event. It's pretty self-explanatory why its significant to my novel and, fun fact, this is the setting of the opening scene. Readers will meet Eva when she's just about to meet Peron.
3. El Grill at The Plaza Hotel
New York City isn't the only place with a Plaza Hotel. Buenos Aires has one, too. I was looking for somewhere fancy for Eva and Peron to go in the early days of their relationship. I wish I could have found a picture from the 1940's but I still think it looks incredible. Apparently, though, its closed right now for renovations. Sorry, everyone.
4. The Ritz
So, this one doesn't take a lot of explaining. In the summer of 1947, Eva Peron went to Europe. (Lucky duck.) She went to Spain, Italy, France, and Switzerland. While she was in Paris, she stayed at The Ritz. When I found that out, I had to include it.
5. Eva's Office aka The Secretariat
I definitely saved the best for last. This was Eva's life, three days a week, twenty or so hours a day. She would go to her office at the Labor Secretariat (the Ministry of Labor, technically, but Eva called it the Secretariat) and meet with the people of Argentina and give out pensions and job recommendations and arrange for people to get health care or housing. Surprisingly enough, I don't think I'd ever seen this particular picture before now. I love any time I find one I haven't seen a million times over.