When I was writing Hometown Space Pirate, I knew it needed to take place in a location that had lots of wide open areas (big enough for a couple spaceships to land and not be noticed). I live in Colorado, and the eastern plains seemed like the perfect choice.
When people think of Colorado, the first image that comes to mind are the mountains, but what many don’t realize is that 40% of the state is made up of eastern plains. This means the eastern part of Colorado is flat (real flat) and wide open; lots of farm country.
After some research I decided the little town of Lamar, Colorado would be the ideal location. It is in Prowers County, 3.5 hours from Denver, with a population of 7,600. Lamar is known as a Monarch City (it’s along the path of the annual migration of monarch butterflies) and it’s a great birding area.
Ben also frequents a local bar in the story and The Buzzard’s Roost (located right on main street) fit the bill. It looked like the perfect place for a nurse from Lamar to go hang out after a tough shift at the hospital (Lamar has one of those too). You can follow the bar on Facebook.
I like using real locations in my books when I can because Google allows me to “visit” the town. I was able to virtually walk down the streets of Lamar and get a feel for the area. After writing Hometown Space Pirate I even visited Lamar on a road trip to Texas and stopped by the Buzzards Roost for a beer. It was everything I could have expected and more. Next time you happen to be in rural Colorado drop into the Buzzards Roost and say hi. Tell them Ben sent you. They will have no idea what you’re talking about, but you can just tell them the aliens will pop by and explain everything later. Happy Reading!