One of the reasons that I like to write fiction books that are set in a real place is the research that you can do for the book. Blue John’s Cavern is set in a real town in England. The landmarks that I talk about like Peveril Castle, the town of Castleton, Blue John Cavern, Winnats Pass and Mam Tor all really exist.
Using a real location does present some challenges though. You want to make sure that when you have your characters moving from place to place that they are moving in the correct direction and that you use as much information about the actual landscape that you can find. Now, in my book, Blue John’s Cavern, Emma and Brody ended up in Castleton in the past, 1775 to be exact. Since I didn’t live back then I had to research what the area is like today and make some educated guesses about how the area may have been slightly different over 200 years ago.
To do this type of research, I used Google Earth. It is an amazing tool that you can use to “visit” all over the world. If you use Google Earth, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t yet tried the software, I suggest you run over to Google (after you finish reading this post and grabbing a copy of Emma’s Field Notebook for free) and download the software. It won’t cost you anything, except hours of fun. The picture above is from Google Earth. I added arrows to some of the locations that I talk about in the book so that you can use the map as you read along to give you a sense of the distances that Brody, Emma, and Max travel during the story.
If you want to grab a full copy of the book you can find Blue John’s Cavern using this link:
Use this link to choose your favorite eBook seller. For print, choose “Kindle” which will take you to the Amazon page where you can purchase the print book. Or, you can buy the print version directly from the Mini Me Geology site!
I’d love to hear what you think about the book and the map in the comments below. And, if you know an awesome place that we should all visit using Google Earth, add that to the comments too!