Saturday, 14 November 2015

Seattle Makes a PERFECT Book Setting! - Guest Post by Garen Glazier, author of On the Verge

Why Seattle Makes a Perfect Book Setting!
Guest Post by Garen Glazier, author of On the Verge

     I was born and raised in Seattle. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I love my town and I love the Pacific Northwest. People bemoan the clouds and rain, but I love that part too. And, shh, Seattle’s best kept secret is that it is absolutely gorgeous in the summer and not humid or extremely hot. Don’t tell anyone.

     The tone of my book is sexy and ominous and to me the melancholy and mystery of a misty Seattle fall were perfect for setting the mood. The city became more than a backdrop for the story. It really evolved into a supporting character, a portal to the book’s adventures with a personality all its own.

     I wanted the reader to feel the rain, to see the wet streets, the soggy leaves on the trees. I’ve been accused of being overly descriptive at times but when it comes to Seattle I think it’s worth it. Here’s a little excerpt from the novel so you can see what I mean:

     It was raining, not an unusual occurrence in Seattle, and it suited Dakryma. This was his first time in the city but he could imagine being quite happy here. Seattle was young, only an infant in comparison to his beloved Sofia, but it seemed to have a depth of soul reserved for cities of much greater age. Maybe it was the romance of the scenery, the snowy mountains presiding over an island-dotted Sound, or the rain that didn’t so much fall out of the sky as float like a mist, settling like tiny crystals on the needles of the ubiquitous pines. Add to that an overall greyness, especially in late autumn, that was atmospheric and gloomy without being grim, and the place was like melancholy made manifest. Dakryma adored it. If only he could stay.

     Seattle is quirky. For one thing it is surrounded by water, Puget Sound on one side and sprawling Lake Washington on the other. Most people get there by bridge or ferry. It’s made up of many neighborhoods each with their own distinct personality. On the Verge takes place in a few of these. Hip Capitol Hill. Seedy, historic Pioneer Square. Granola Fremont. And a little of the University district. There are glorious mountain ranges just outside the city limits and my book makes a jaunt there, too.

     I do love other cities. There is no place like New York City with its energy, a feeling that makes you believe anything is possible. Paris is my soul city. Beautiful and grand; it oozes romance. But Seattle is my home, and the saying really is true, there’s no place like it.

     There’s just so much potential, so many places to explore even for someone who has lived here as long as I have. Yes there’s a lot of traffic and the rain can get tedious towards the middle of January, but it’s also just a bit magical, like you might actually meet those fantastical creatures I write about on your next Seattle getaway. I hope I conveyed some of that bewitching charm in the pages of On the Verge.

Freya is just a student at the University of Washington worried about grades and making her next tuition payment until a gorgeous succubus interrupts her post-exam latte with a proposition: come work for her boss, Seattle’s reclusive heiress and antiquities collector Imogen Beldame. Eagerly agreeing despite a nagging feeling in the pit of her stomach, Freya finds herself swept up in a deadly quest at the behest of her psychopathic new employer. Beldame has given her until Halloween to collect three magical pigments that hold the key to crafting mesmerizing portraits that can access the Verge, an undiscovered borderland on the edge of human reality, and the powerful beings that call it home.

Freya’s reluctant journey takes her to a goblin stronghold in the Cascades for the color blue, to the Seattle Underground to request the color red from Baba Yaga, and to the Fremont home of a beautifully gruesome Cambodian ahp, or spirit of the night, for the color yellow. Working together with Rusty, an enigmatically disfigured man intimately connected with the Verge, and a motley crew of mercurial demons and loyal friends, Freya must come up with a plan to stop Beldame and preserve the fragile balance between fantasy and reality that is at its most vulnerable on Halloween.

I'm a lifelong resident of Seattle. I married my Russia-born-America-raised high school sweetheart, and we have a four year old and a new little one born in February.

I like coffee shops, bookstores, dancing in my living room and singing in my car. The opening scene of Up always makes me cry. The Three Amigos always makes me laugh. Fashion magazines, croissants, and long, long baths are my guilty pleasures. They might occur separately or together. I prefer boxing classes to yoga, and I get some of my best ideas when I'm running. I loved school and spent more time than one really should getting a business degree in marketing and a master's in art history. In an ideal world I'd go to bed at 2am and wake up at 10am. I've never been an early bird, and I feel strongly that alarm clocks kill dreams.

Learn more about me and read my blog, Scriven by Garen, at


  1. Thank you so much for letting me guest post!

    1. The pleasure is all mine! What a wonderful piece!