Setting is a conscious choice each author makes. I’m a “write what you know” type so I set my stories in and around San Francisco. It’s risky. I imagine New York-based authors and my Bostonian writer friends face the same risk. That risk is preconceived notions about the location. When I say “San Francisco,” what comes to mind? The Golden Gate Bridge? Fog? Fisherman’s Wharf? As someone who’s lived in or within spitting distance of the City By The Bay for most of my life, those images are rarely what I see. Okay, I do see the GGB, as we call it (because, really, who has time for all those syllables). My day job office has some pretty spectacular views and that’s one of them. But fog isn’t nearly as prevalent as it once was, thanks to climate change. And I, like most locals, need a reason to go anywhere near the Wharf. My San Francisco is different. The neighborhoods I frequent. The types of people I’m around. The City (yes, with a capital “C”) is almost like a character itself. Like other iconic cities, there are landmarks that never change. There are still pockets of the City of Dashiell Hammett. But it’s also constantly evolving. That’s one of the reasons it makes such a great location, that co-mingling of old and new, sometimes literally side by side. For the next couple of days I’ll show you real locations that inspire my settings. Along with my heart, San Francisco is a great place to leave a trail of clues.