Well, San Francisco is my hometown and where I grew up and spent my career in law enforcement. Also, part of my motivation to write this story was to present an argument for protecting our national park system. And I wanted to do it in a non-pedantic way and in a manner that would not cause the reader’s eyes to glaze over. To that end, I incorporated the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite as a character in my story.
What does the setting add to the story?
I set the story in a real place that reflects the storyline and actual locales in which story events occur. A visitor to the story setting can easily feel the ambience and visualize the what and where.
Could you write the same story in a different setting?
Certain places and events, such as the Hetch Hetchy water supply system and the controversy surrounding it, are essential to the storyline.
Why or why couldn't you use a different setting?
The actual locales in which events take place are unique to the present story setting.
Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?
Yes. The visitor would find the streets and locales in San Francisco are as described in the story. So too are the eateries, although they are otherwise named. The redwood forests on the San Mateo coast are also as described in the book and the raging controversy over Hetch Hetchy remains ongoing.
Or, did you create the setting from scratch?
Tell us some specific details about your setting. What would we see? What sort of people are there? If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us? For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?
I would say to the visitor, bring your appetite. My story follows the tradition of the Golden Age of the detective story where meals run "like a doughy thread" throughout the narrative. In the words of H. R. F. Keating, "Your really implacable sleuth could never go far without pausing to eat the appropriate meal." This tradition lives on in Switcheroo and in the City by the Bay in particular.