Thursday, October 9, 2014

Location Research for Wine and Spirits by Nancy Kay

Devil's Backbone

Wine and Spirits research took me to some amazing places, and The Devil's Backbone was the perfect location for a spooky, suspenseful novel.


The chief stream near Girard, Pa. is Elk creek, which flows from Fairview, Pa. through the center of the township from east to northwest  for about thirty miles and empties into Lake Erie. Initially the valley of the stream is narrow and precipitous, but as it meanders north it widens out with steep bluffs on both sides. At the junction of the Little Elk there is a high peak, resembling part of a Roman profile called "The Devil’s Nose."

A short distance south is the natural curiosity known as "The Devil’s Backbone." An almost perpendicular hill runs for a quarter of a mile, then rounds the bluff and comes back to a point opposite forming a sort of loop. At the narrowest place the crest, or backbone, is not more than two feet across, and the height is over 100 feet. 

The first time I saw this awesome formation I got chills. Then my mind started churning, and the location worked it's way into Wine And Spirits.

Spooky locations are the bread and butter of suspense, and this one provided the perfect setting for a key role in Wine And Spirits.