Sunday, March 4, 2012

Motor City Magic

*Contest Information at the Bottom of this Post*

When people think about settings for romance, Detroit is one of the last cities to come to mind. My hometown has a rough reputation, and much of it is earned. When I was dreaming up my Urban Arcana series of paranormal romances, though, I never thought twice about using Detroit as the home for elves, witches, werewolves and more. So why is the Motor City such a perfect backdrop?

Metropolitan Detroit’s over 300 year history is rich with industrial success, making it the home of numerous immigrant groups. That diversity could easily include other species. Who’d notice werewolves in Hamtramck (eastern European enclave), djinn in Dearborn (large Middle Eastern populace), or Fae in Corktown? The city is built over salt mines, and salt figures frequently in legend and myth. Now that most of the industry has left, there’s an air of gritty decay. All the abandoned factories full of rusting iron lend ideal settings for supernatural activities. Furthermore police and other city civil servants, understaffed due to budget constraints, often adopt a pragmatic “not my problem” attitude. As long as nobody’s getting hurt, it’s a whole lot easier to look the other way. Why worry about some guy with pointy ears or fangs when he isn’t causing trouble?

And yet, Detroit has positive attributes which often go unsung. There are beautiful parks, where werewolves could shift and run. The dynamic revitalization of the riverfront lends an element of hope and looks to the future. It's the hub of tremendous new research and web-based commerce. Finally, Detroit boasts a thriving arts culture with world-class museums, music, and restaurants to rival those in any other city. When you put all that together, why wouldn’t the Motor City be a hub for paranormal activity?

My Urban Arcana books, Motor City Fae, Motor City Witch, Motor City Wolf, and finally, out March 12, but available now for preorder, Motor City Mage, are set in Detroit and its suburbs, with occasional forays into the land Underhill, or Faerie and some other alternate realities. I love being able to mix the gritty real world with fantasy realities, but there are similarities. Both have political intrigue and are places where monsters exist, and yet both are places where a couple can defeat the bad guys, find their soul-mates, and fall in love.

Cindy Spencer Pape
Author of Motor City Fae, Motor City Witch, Motor City Wolf, and Motor City Mage

Watch Facebook and Twitter between now and March 12 for my daily updates with words of wisdom from Lana and Des of Motor City Mage. Also, leave a comment on any of my posts today to be entered to win the e-book of your choice from the Urban Arcana series.


Cate Masters said...

Love this premise! Wasn't Detroit just cited as the most improved city in America? Congrats on another release, Cindy. Sounds wonderful.

blcsdina said...

You make Detroit sound like a nice place to visit. I've never been there, just heard all of the negative stories. Have high respect for your sports teams, especially the Red Wings. It's great that you've used Detroit for a setting. Am tired of NY and LA always being the center of the universe. Dina Rae (from Chicago)

Debby said...

Detroit is not so bad. There are several stories set there. I have been there several times. I was born in the UP.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Karen H said...

I was born and raised in Flint and Detroit is only about 60 miles away. Was just there in December for a day at the Greektown Casino with my daughter who lives in Lapeer. I'm in NC now but I visit my kids and family twice a year. That winter trip reminds me why I left! LOL

My daughter told me about Komodo Kitchen, a Detroit-based once-a-month pop-up supper club. This is a group of female caterers who offer a restaurant concept in various locations and strives to create ‘dining events’. Since they are in a different place every month, you need to be on their newsletter to find out where they will be in the future. Small groups, hard to get reservations. Have you ever heard of this dining concept or this company?

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

It was, Cate, and there really is a lot of hope in the city. And thank you.

Dina Rae, I love Chicago, too, and visit when I can. I'm looking forward to the Romantic Times Convention in April.

Debby, the UP is beautiful. My very first published book was set there.

And Karen, I've heard of the concept, but didn't know about that particular club. Very cool!

anny cook said...

This series is FABULOUS!!! Makes me want to go to Detroit!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Anny, you're welcome any time!

Shadow said...

Sounds great! Thanks for sharing!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

thanks, Shadow!