Setting the Spiritus Stage
by Dana Michelle Burnett
It’s great to be here today! My novel Spiritus has been out since October and it’s kept me very busy. The series was so much fun to write and I’ve loved sharing Becca and Alastor with my readers. One thing that has shocked me is the responses that I’ve gotten regarding the setting of the novel, it’s almost as if the town became a character of the novel as well.
For those that don’t know, Spiritus is set in Corydon Indiana and yes, Corydon is a real place. The town was the first state capital and the downtown area is full of shops and historical locations. A walk down Capital Avenue will have you surrounded by Victorian/Civil War era mansions.
As a writer, it was difficult to combine the real physical elements with the paranormal elements I was creating for the story. For example, Becca’s home is a combination of three houses on Capital Avenue, but Magdalena’s Restaurant where Jonah and Becca have their first date is a very real place. The most difficult location was Cedar Hill Cemetery, while it is an actual place; in my novel it becomes a bit more mystical and spooky than it really is.
The locations in and around Corydon became so popular with readers that I had to create a separate page on my website of “Spiritus Extras” dedicated to the locations mentioned in the book.
It’s been a learning experience to write Spiritus and realize that setting isn’t just the background of the novel, that there are times it can almost become a character in itself. Spiritus really humbled me in that respect and I’ll never underestimate a novel’s setting again.