Urban Fantasy: conjures up tales of the mean streets, doesn’t it? Wizards on a case, stomping the alleyways of gritty Chicago with their magic staff; Druid investigators tracking down evildoers in South Boston; PIs joining with a vampire partner searching for demons in downtown Toronto. From vampire executioners in St. Louis to all the amazing and wonder leather-clad kickass female heroes and heroines in today’s urban fantasy, we all love these stories set in modern cities.
But what about the country? Small towns, rural areas? There’s no lack of intrigue, suspense, backstabbing partners, and all the things you’d find in a large city (except perhaps for the high-rises and traffic).
I chose to set my Blood Lines series in Rio Seco, Texas – a fictional small town very much based on a lovely Hill Country community I lived in during my late high school years: Lago Vista, Texas. The Hill Country, dotted with small towns, rural communities and resorts remains, to this day, a jewel in the bellybutton of the state. Lakes, rolling hills, gorgeous scenery complement the hustle and bustle of the major cities. It’s a place to get away and a wonderful place to live.
Even as early as the late 1970s, the Hill Country was becoming a mecca for those with money/fame/power to buy a vacation home. Now, in the early 21st century, nearby cities keep expanding into this once isolated area, bringing with it the pressures of new population, new development. Small towns may not have the numbers of people as in cities, but they certainly have the same issues, often magnified because people all tend to know one another.