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Guest Blogger: Meg Benjamin
Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Getting Real

For the past four or five years I’ve been writing stories about Konigsburg, Texas. It’s a Hill Country town with lots of hunky guys and strong women. It’s also imaginary, which makes it really easy to write about. Need a winery outside town? No problem. Need a hideout for some inept bad guys? Got it. Towns you invent can provide you with everything you need just when you need it. All you have to do is remember what you called that street the last time you had the heroine walk up it.

But when I decided to do a trilogy of stories about a family of mediums, I didn’t want to set them in Konigsburg for a lot of reasons. I wanted someplace real and someplace spooky. Someplace you could actually visit if you were curious, and a place you could believe harbored a ghost or two. I settled for San Antonio’s King William District, one of the town’s oldest surviving neighborhoods. And there went all the convenience of having my very own town to play with.

You see, when you’re dealing with a real place, you have to respect the real details. For example, I couldn’t make up street names anymore. King William has streets and they have names. If I wanted my characters to walk along the river I had to specify that they were walking along Washington and not, say, Riverside. And they had to cross the river over real bridges, not something I concocted for the purpose of getting them over the water (fortunately for me, King William has the Johnson Street Footbridge—a really cool way of getting across the San Antonio River).

Moreover, I needed to be true to the way King William actually looks, its mixture of Victorian limestone mansions and smaller, wood frame houses from the last century. This wasn’t hard when I lived in San Antonio—all I had to do was take a drive through the District to get a feel for it. But now I live in Colorado, and reminding myself about what the District looks like required finding photos on-line of the things I needed to see (for a taste of King William, you can check out my Pinterest board).

Fortunately for me, King William is a full service location. Along with the Victorian mansions, perfect for ghostly visitations, it also has the Blue Star Arts District with its cafes and galleries and the Southtown district with its boutiques and funky clubs. And I was able to create a few things without doing too much damage to reality. Several of my characters do some research at the King William Historical Society, for example, an organization that exists only in my imagination.

In the end, I enjoyed my stay in King William a lot. I hope you’ll stop by and visit sometime, or at least visit my family of mediums.

Here’s the blurb for Medium Well:

Medium Well

Love At Second Sight

Real estate agent Danny Ramos has always had a knack for selling homes, but when his boss saddles him with a neglected carriage house, Danny discovers that his abilities are more than simple intuition…

On his first visit to the house, Danny is confronted with visions of a violent murder. His assistant, Biddy Gunter, doesn’t seem affected, and Danny starts to think he’s going crazy—until he gets a visit from his mother, who suggests that Danny’s uncanny talent to sell old houses may stem from his family inheritance: psychic empathy.

When Biddy reveals to Danny her own strange dream about the carriage house ghosts, they team up to investigate and discover both the house’s dark history and their own unexpected attraction. But as the hauntings turn from unsettling to downright dangerous, Danny and Biddy need to figure out how to rid the house of its ghostly inhabitants, before their budding romance meets an untimely end…

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3 comments to “Guest Blogger: Meg Benjamin”

  1. Z
    · February 21st, 2013 at 8:16 am · Link

    Sounds kinda spooky Meg. Good a cold winte rnight when the snow is falling.

  2. Kathy Lewis
    · February 21st, 2013 at 8:16 am · Link

    Well I like when authors use real places. I am actually going to San Antonio this weekend. Don’t know I will be able to see where you write about but I do like knowing some information about the places I visit.

  3. Meg Benjamin
    · February 21st, 2013 at 10:31 am · Link

    Z, we’re getting snow, too. Big time at the moment. Kathy, you can visit the King William District if you’ve got a spare moment–it’s right downtown. And there are some lovely walks along the San Antonio River.

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