Let me tell you about my town. One day not long ago my husband posted a meme on facebook that said:
People in Philly whisper "What the fuck," to themselves twenty times a day.
I laughed, because it’s true. I set my books in Philadelphia because I know it so well, but also because it has a rich history and the kind of character that comes with age, diversity, and a powerful (and infamous) ornery streak. Plus, its people have a truly world-class sense of humor. For example, one morning while I'm riding my bike to work, a gang of us are stopped at a red light. When it changes, some random fat guy with a mustache yells, "And they're off! Cabbage Cabbage takes the lead on the inside!"
A scene in The Passion Season: Book I of the Covalent Series features a dinner date between Zan O’Gara, a beautiful, badass FBI agent, and Rainer Barakiel, a superhuman warrior from another dimension who is masquerading as a German businessman. Zan asks Barakiel why he chose to live in Philadelphia.
“I like it,” he says. “For an American city it is old, tarnished. You can feel the history. And it has a healthy streak of the bizarre.”
An accurate comment. Philadelphia is a city of startling contrasts. Old money and high culture crammed up against horrible poverty. Crime, drugs and hostility relieved by an easy camaraderie, a resigned smile that says, “We’re all in this absurd mess together.”
In so far as it is possible, my scenes are set in or near real places. For your enjoyment, here are some of them.
Zan meets Barakiel meet when he offers to help the FBI solve a gruesome crime. Someone found a human spleen in the bushes inside Independence National Historical Park. Specifically, it was found next to the Second United States Bank, pictured below. By the way, unless otherwise noted, I took all these photographs.