This one originally started out with a setting in the late 1800s in the Texas Panhandle. The Eshuvani were Elves and the police sergeant was a Texas Ranger. As I plotted it out, I realized it sounded a little too Lone Ranger, I tweaked the setting to a 1965 small Texas town on the Gulf coast.
As I designed characters and plot details, I realized my Elves were either going to be very atypical. Rather than deal with readers crying foul, I changed them to an alien race, the Eshuvani.
Eshuvani landed on Earth during the European Renaissance. Well, crashed is more like it. They were on a generation ship that developed major malfunctions and came down in a farmer’s recently harvested field. After some initial misadventures with humans (which I may end up writing into a novel some day), the Eshuvani tried hiding out in their own enclaves scattered around the planet.
Fast forward to 1965. Eshuvani enclaves are still scattered here and there, and relations between Eshuvani and humans are cordial as a rule, but not exactly friendly. Humans view Eshuvani as aloof, and Eshuvani view humans as impulsive.
The setting for this story was a topic of huge debate among a group of writers I was playing with at the time. Many of them had an issue with science fiction set in 1965. This wasn’t, after all, an alternate history kind of story. Some of the writers said I really needed to put the story at least in modern times, if not at least a few decades ahead. I declined and kept it in 1965.
You see, there was a reason for that. I needed the humans to being technologically behind the eight-ball. Sure, I could have done that by making the Eshuvani much more technologically advanced, but for some key points (especially in the plot of the sequel), that would have required the Eshuvani to have some snazzy widget that would disable the human’s technology. Sure, I could have done it that way, but that just seemed too convenient. I preferred to set things up so the humans didn’t have the means in the first place. No hokey plot device needed to come in and mess up the humans’ day. Setting the tale in 1965 made it more believable, in my opinion (which I value highly. 😉 )
The tale started in Marquette, Michigan. Why? Well, that’s where I’m from. I’m afraid it’s no more interesting than that. I used some features of the that part in the world to add details. Amaya isn’t terribly well adapted to the heat in Texas, which she has to deal with a time or few. I also did a bit of research into mining operations in the U.P. to provide a location for the problem with her partner.
The bulk of the story takes place in a Texas coastal town called Las Palomas. I wanted to put it on the coast of Texas so I could use the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico for the finale, so I created a little town like a lot of other little towns in Texas.
To generate some tension between the nearest Eshuvani enclave and Las Palomas, I set up the enclave so that it made a loop around the town. Why would that have happened? Well, it doesn’t come up in the story, but the idea was that the Eshuvani originally built around the human town to protect them in the frontier days. Now that the West is Won and the Texas Revolution is over and all that fun stuff, the protection isn’t needed, but it’s too late now.
Naturally, now the humans are not very impressed that they can’t expand much, and the Eshuvani perceive the humans as a tad ungrateful. I’m sure they can work it out, though.