Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Creating Heaven

A guest post by Laura DiSilverio.

No, this isn't a religious essay! It's about how I invented the fictional town of Heaven, Colorado, the setting for my new book club mystery series featuring the Readaholics.

I started with my protagonist, Amy-Faye Johnson, who is an event organizer. I thought about the different events she might be hired to organize (and how they might go hysterically wrong--but that's a different post). My mind drifted from corporate events, to parties, to reunions and weddings. Weddings! Wouldn't it be great if there were something special about where Amy-Faye lived that encouraged brides and grooms to get married there?

I know that Loveland, Colorado (not all that far from where I live) gets a lot of destination wedding business because of its name, so I thought about naming my new town Heaven, figuring that lots of brides would want to say they were married in Heaven. Once I had the name, the rest fell into place.

I made the naming of the town a practical matter, with the town council deliberately setting out to attract wedding business by renaming the town when Amy-Faye was in high school. Thus, Walter's Ford, Colorado became Heaven, Colorado. The town's new marketing slogan came from the Kenny Chesney song, "Everybody wants to go to Heaven." (FYI, there are a bazillion songs with "heaven" in the title, as I discovered when I Googled it.)

Not content with renaming the town, the council and city merchants re-christened streets, housing areas, stores, and more. John Elway Boulevard, for instance, became Paradise Parkway. (If we win a Super Bowl, not this year, alas, they may rename it yet again to Peyton Manning Parkway.) I've had fun coming up with funny names, and I'm grateful that there are lots of words that relate to "heaven": paradise, elysium, angels, cherubim, eternity, etc.

I hope you'll come visit Heaven and meet the Readaholics--Amy-Faye and her friends, Maud Bell (a conspiracy theorist blogger), Lola Paget (who owns a plant nursery),Kerry Sanderson (Heaven's part-time mayor) and Brooke Widefield (Amy-Faye's best friend who married into the town's richest family). You can listen in as they discuss The Maltese Falcon and solve a murder in The Readaholics and the Falcon Fiasco!

If you have any ideas for "heavenly" street or business names, please leave them in the comments!

I'm the author of the Swift Investigations and Mall Cop mystery series.

After twenty years as an Air Force intelligence officer – serving as a squadron commander, with the National Reconnaissance Office, and at a fighter wing – I retired to parenting and writing full-time.

Spying was easier.

-- from Laura's website


  1. I think the internet ate my first post. I loved your Mall Cop books, some of the characters reminded me of people I had ran into or knew in my life. Your new series sounds interesting.
    Pearls of Wisdom Bookstore
    Clouds, a bedding store
    The Everlasting Funeral Home or Cemetery.
    Cherubim Baby Store

    That is sort of fun coming up with Heavenly names.

  2. Hi, Liz. Thanks for the great name ideas! I've written them all down for future reference!