Several years ago while working on the initial concepts for what will be my next book, The Leviticus Enforcer, I hit upon the idea of setting my stories in a fictional city ‘somewhere in America.’ The idea was not exactly my own, I admit. I got it after reading a Scott Turow novel (I don’t remember which one). All of his novels are set in ‘Kindle County,’ which is based on his home town of Chicago.
It occurred to me that if he could do it, why couldn’t I? So I created Port Mason. There’s nothing special about choosing that name; it just had a nice ring to it. I liked the idea of having my own playground to work in rather than trying to use a real city I wasn’t familiar with. I think of Port Mason as a kind of blend between St. Louis (yes, a Cubs fan said ‘St. Louis’) and Portland, Oregon, with a good dose of Chicago-style dirty politics thrown in for good measure.
Where is Port Mason? Beats me. Seriously, it’s somewhere in America. It’s on a river and is probably in the Midwest somewhere. I don’t want to get any more specific than that. It’s also in an unnamed state. That gives me the freedom to do pretty much anything I want, within reason. Its population is right around one million, giving me plenty of leeway in creating characters and situations.
One of these days I’m going to have to do a proper mapping of Port Mason. Trying to remember where everything is can be a struggle sometimes. In truth, I should probably get on that right now!