When I first wrote "Something I Am Not", (then "Billy") the town was Wilcox, and it materialized from my imagination. I liked the sound of it. And I conjured a northeast suburbia—small enough to maintain a close-knit community, large enough to offer the obscurity of an illegal gambling ring. A stone’s throw to a major city and the network of a larger river. The river was vital to the story as it became Billy’s escape—his sanctuary.
Wilcox had all the right elements in my mind, until I realized it existed outside of it (my mind, that is). Wilcox was real. Population: 383. Less than four hundred people. Nothing could happen in Wilcox without everyone knowing it. Max McQueen would easily be found out. And then, too, it was as far away from a main river as a town in Pennsylvania could be!
So, I spent days researching Pennsylvania towns until I found it! The exact setting, right down to a google map that brought me face-to-face with the old warehouse Billy’s father transformed into a boxing club.
There it was! Kingston, PA. Population: 12,861. Colonial, yet progressive. Boasting a network of the great Susquehanna River. The town, the high school, the farmland, the backstreets, the park, the forest—it was all there. Just the way I imagined it. As if it had been waiting for me to discover it.