The world of Temper is my world: the main character lives just a few blocks away from my North side Chicago apartment. If she were real, I’d probably see her on the train or pass her on the street regularly (she would glare at me, but it’s not personal, Kira glares at everyone).
Here are some of the real-life locations I featured in Temper (with my own photos, taken over the almost ten years I’ve lived in Chicago):
One of my favorite neighborhood restaurants, about a ten-minute walk from my place. They have a section called “The Library” and serve epic grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon, what’s not to love?
The Adler Planetarium
The Adler offers one of the best views of the Chicago skyline. Kira and Malcolm end up there after a night of very unconventional rehearsal.
Foster Avenue Beach
Perhaps my favorite thing about living in Chicago is the miles of public parks and beaches stretching along Lake Michigan. Toward the end of the book, two characters have a pivotal scene sitting on one of these benches at Foster Avenue Beach, where I frequently walk my dog.
The Shakespeare Monument
I’ve had multiple Chicago-based friends tell me they didn’t even know this statue existed until reading my book! It’s right by the Lincoln Park Zoo, and characters meet there during one scene in the book (though they don’t pose as adorably as my friend Ariel is here).
Setting my novel so close to home made it easier, in a way: if I was having trouble describing something, I could just go there and take pictures and/or notes, no complicated worldbuilding required. But I also felt a lot of pressure to get the details about my beloved city just right, so it would come to life even for people who’ve never set foot in Chicago. I hope I succeeded!