The city of Segovia, of sixteenth century Spain, is the primary setting for the first half of my historical fiction novel Boots of Spanish Leather: Reino de España.
I wrote the first “vomit” draft of this story before I had even heard of Segovia. In one of the early chapters I had the protagonist, an adept foot soldier just returned from service on el Camino Español (The Spanish Road), sitting on a rocky ledge overlooking a city with a large cathedral and the ruins of an Roman aqueduct running through it.
Imagine my surprise when I googled: “Roman aqueduct spain”… And there it was, the UNESCO World Heritage listed old city of Segovia. Not only did it have the Roman aqueduct but one of the last gothic style cathedrals of the period.
I descended into the universe that is Google Earth and did not emerge for several days, though back in 2012 it had nowhere near the detail it has today. I filled my Evernote notebook with pictures and links, many of my key storylines, new characters, and settings were birthed during this initial research period.
So far I have had to rely on this new virtual city of Segovia, and my imagination, but will spend a week there in the (northern hemisphere) spring of 2017, before continuing on to the other settings of my story: Madrid, Lisbon, A Coruña, Gijón, and Gibraltar.