In 2005-2006 when we first started writing In the Company of Shadows, Sonny and I both found it difficult to properly research locations outside the US. Most of the time I could find country maps with city names, but not always. And finding street maps of individual cities was, at times, nearly impossible. Every used bookstore I visited, I trolled the map and travel area. Once, I bought a huge wall map of Mexico because it had one small box that showed a tiny portion of the streets of Monterrey.
But times change and so does technology.
Google alone made a remarkable difference in our ability to research other cities with the expansion of streetview all over the world. Suddenly, not only could we zoom in and see the street names and layouts, but we could also view what that street looked like, and eventually photographs taken by people were also tied to locations. This gave us the ability to find and describe settings, and to become more accurate in our timing of characters’ movements or travel plans.
And as the internet expanded, we also found it easier to search for more details in other countries. When needed, we were able to locate actual farms or houses for sale, or apartments for rent, or hotel or hostel rooms for booking, in order to more accurately describe the architecture and amenities of the city where the chapters were set.
Below are some screenshots taken during the writing of Fade chapters 40 and 42. These were examples used for the settings. I took to making notes on the screenshot itself to explain why that screenshot in particular was taken. Keep in mind, these are rough locations. This is placed behind a cut for potential spoilers.
FADE CHAPTER 40; Boyd and Mod fight
FADE CHAPTER 42; the farm
What a difference 7 years makes.