Guest post by Vincent Diamond ...
Feathers releases today from JMS Books, and remembering where I was and what I was doing during the time I wrote it was enlightening. The story itself was written before my own father's death, but the feeling of grief and sadness that Brandon was working through felt very real to me. And I've had readers comment that his sense of dislocation about his life was right on target. The story has some sad moments, but overall, I don't think it's a depressing one.
As with many of my stories, this one is based on real places in central Florida. The raptor center where they take the injured hawk is based on the real-life Audubon Center for Birds of Prey based in Maitland, Florida. It's just a sub-city on the west side of Orlando, easy to get to if you're every doing Disney and want some genuine experiences. They rescue and rehab all types of raptors: owls, hawks, eagles, kites, and others. It's been years since I visited, but that last time I was there you could get your picture taken with a bald eagle. I was never brave enough; those talons were bigger than a human hand and very intimidating!
And the orange grove where Ramon and Brandon take a ride is based on a real-life grove where some of my barn-mates took trail rides. Zephyrhills is pretty hilly, for Florida, and the views from the grove were way cool.
Thanks for stopping by the blog, and check out Feathers!