I wanted my novel to have a strong sense of place. I like to read books that make me smell and feel a place, and I hoped I could do that with mine. So I cruised around Northern New Mexico looking for places that would help me create Prado Viejo - and make it feel real. A few miles up the road from me is the village of Galisteo made up of adobe homes, a few tiny shops and an old church, Iglesia Nuestra Senora de los Remedios, that was once the site of a pueblo.
Galisteo is a tiny village that sits in the Galisteo Basin, a huge bowl of fertile grasslands and volcanic rock that was home to nine ancient pueblo communities. The village is an artist enclave now, but before the artists moved in, it was better known as a farming and ranching community. I created the village of Prado Viejo with Galisteo in mind. But the Lonely Hart Ranch itself was set further south, by the village of Stanley (more on that later).
If you haven't been to Galisteo, it's worth a trip. And don't forget to bring your camera.