Pics from the Land of the Libriomancer

With five days left until Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy] comes out, this is the time when I’m supposed to be doing frantic self-promotion. The trick is to do it without looking like I’m self-promoting. Which is harder than it sounds. So I asked for advice on Twitter.

Kate K. F. suggested pictures of Michigan looking pretty, which sounded like a good way to go. Especially if those pictures tied into the Magic ex Libris series, which is primarily set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula 🙂  (Spoiler: Not all of the pics connect to the series…)

Larger versions of the pics are posted on Flickr, for anyone who’s interested.

Luna Moth. Because they’re cool-looking, and they hang out up north. Also, I believe there’s a reference to Smudge the fire-spider trying to eat one at some point. (If that reference isn’t in the books, it’s only because it got edited out in revisions. Which just means I’ll have to put it back in a future book!)

The Mackinac Bridge. Isaac hates driving over this thing. He’s uncomfortable with heights, and the center lanes are metal grating instead of pavement, meaning the air comes up through the center, and the feel of the tires on the road is very different. When I was driving home last week, it kept feeling like the car was trying to pull off to one side or the other.

Also, there used to be a colony of lake trolls living at the base of the bridge, but the Porters relocated them back in 1971.

Random Lake Shot. This was taken while wandering along the beach at my in-laws’ camp in the northern part of the U.P. Their camp was some of the inspiration for the hunting camp Isaac and Lena go to in Libriomancer.

Mining tires. This should give you a sense of the scale of the hauler trucks running around your average mine. When I was working in Nevada at one of the gold mines, I heard stories of folks who backed over cars in one of those things and never even felt it.

We haven’t yet seen the titular mine of Isaac’s home town, but it does get a mention in Codex Born.

Oh, and I don’t know what these tires cost nowadays, but when I took this pic about 8 years ago, each one had a five-figure price tag.

Random rooftop. The U.P. gets a lot of snow. As a result, you get a fair number of homes with metal strips along the edges to protect against ice dams. Other houses, like Isaac’s, just go for full metal roofs. I took this picture from the passenger seat of the car, which is why it’s a little blurry.

I haven’t yet decided whether a future Magic ex Libris book will be set in a true Yooper winter…

Sunset. Because it’s pretty, that’s why!

Fort Michilimackinac. This fort is built at the southern end of the Mackinac Bridge. This is a reconstruction, as most of the fort was burned to the ground by the British in the late 1700s when they moved over to Fort Mackinac. But the magic left there by French traders more than three hundred years ago still lingers…

The fort gets a shout-out in Codex Born, and depending on what happens in the revision, it may play a larger role in Unbound. Or it might not. I’m only on the second draft, after all.

Geese. Because geese! (Another pic from my in-laws’ camp.)