I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’m not the most creative writer out there. In fact, most of of my worldbuilding comes from places I’ve been–places I can’t get out of my head. So without further ado . . . here are some of the places that inspired the settings of the Asrian Skies universe, by book.
Cadena, the capital of Asria, is a blatant rip-off of Narita, Japan. Most know it as the place with the airport, but to me, it’s the site of some of my favorite business trips ever. If you needed an explanation for the tea-drinking and eel-eating habits of Asrians, Narita is it.
That road where Avery loses her guard and subsquently meets Chase? That’s based on Naritasan Omotesando, the twisty road that leads to Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple.
Speaking of Naritasan, it’s also partial inspiration for the Asrian Senate Temple where we we learn how arrogant and clueless Chase really is. Below is the Great Main Hall.
A little closer to home are the two other churches that inspired the temple (I seem to visit a lot of places of worship).
Tumacácori National Historical Park, south of Tucson:
And Mission San Xavier del Bac, in Tucson itself.
Tucson is also home to the place that inspired Avery and Hadley’s trip through the Pelanco Mountains: Mt. Lemmon.
Imagine climbing that!
It’s probably not a surprise there are more mountains involved in my writing. The Cascades stand in for the higher Gallis Mountains on the other side of Cadena from the Pelancos. Avery and Merritt picnic in an alpine meadow that bears a suspicious resemblance to the meadows below Mt. Rainier.
And lastly, the Archet River that flows through those mountains is really the Hoh River on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.
There’s only one photo of note for this one, and that’s the memorial at Manzanar National Historic Site near Lone Pine, California. You’ll have to read the book to see which scene was inspired by this one.
Faded Embers is a bit of a shift. It takes place on Asria to start, but because I really wanted to write about the desert, we move partially to a certain almost-desert planet. Because who wouldn’t want to write about scenery like this?
The grounds of Mission San Xavier del Bac reappear again, this time as a private chapel.
And that’s about it! If you’ve read the book, did any of these surprise you? Where they different than what you’d pictured?