Recently, I gave an interview to The LoveCats DownUnder . They’re a rambunctious bunch of writers and they ask some pretty good questions. My twin, Rachel Bailey, was curious about the setting of A Basic Renovation and I got to wondering how many other works of fiction were set in Los Alamos, the Atomic City. I thought of Joe Kanon’s Los Alamos, Nora Gallagher’s Changing Light…and Judy Blume’s Tiger Eyes.
Ooooh Judy Blume!
Yes, that’s what I did. I went, Ooooh Judy Blume!
Then I got to wondering what else Judy and I had in common. I tried to find my copy of Tiger Eyes, to check, but as I dug through my cupboard for the few YA novels I’ve kept (besides the Attolia series by Megan Whalen Turner) I recalled lending Tiger Eyes to one of my nieces. It’s never been returned. This of course made it hard to verify the the Antonelli-Blume Los Alamos commonalities.
Canyons. We talk both about canyons. And mesas. And the Los Alamos National Lab. Blume also describes ‘Bathtub row.’
Me? I describe a bathroom.
Annnnd…I think that’s where what unites us ends. I have a teenage boy who deals with an emotional issue, and yeah, maybe that’s slightly Blume-ish, but the real story is about his forty-something father and the woman he finds atomically hot.
Maybe my next novel set in Los Alamos will be my homage to Blume. Or maybe I’m just borrowing the heroine’s name from a childhood hero and another author who wrote about canyons and mesas and New Mexico… Any guess what that name is? Rachel Baily knows.
Bathtub Row, if you’re interested, was made up of houses that were once part of the Boys Ranch School. The cottages were transformed into housing for Government big wigs during the Manhattan Project. These stone houses were the only homes in town that had bathtubs. Read more.