Writing Books/Research


Thanks Nori, I'd like to know if its possible for a scene to be set on a bridge over a river with woodland adjacent; all within a few hours drive from LA -- and from there to drive out into a desert landscape.

Is this geographically possible?!

Thanks again,

Followup To
Question -
Hi Nori, I'm writing a story set in California, but I'd like to know how you would research this area geographically -- Really,I need to establish a routine which I can employ for a new location within any stories...

Any advice on this will be appreciated,
Answer -
Dear Hannah,
Thank you for your question. The best way to research CA would be to come out here and drive around for a week. However, you can also find out about it by talking to people who live here, by reading magazines like Sunset that specialize in California, or by reading books and information on the Internet.
One maxim of writing fiction is to "write what you know." It's a whole lot easier to write a story set in a town you're already familiar with.
If you have any questions about California, send them along and I'll try to answer them for you.

Hi Hannah,
Here's an itinary for you, or for your characters, rather:

The wooded area with the river and the bridge could be in Ojai, which is about 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, just off highway 101. It's a little town with a laid back community, s ome new agers, and probably lots of vacation homes. There are some good hiking areas with rivers. It gets pretty warm there in the summer and the hills are covered with trees.

From there, your characters could drive to some exotic desert areas about 120 miles due east in the Palmdale, Victorville, Apple Valley area.  Victorville is about 80 miles northeast of Los Angeles. It's high desert and has some amazing rock formations and wide open spaces.

Do some research on these places and see if they're what you're looking for.  You can probably find maps and pictures on the Internet. Good luck!

Also, I urge you to go easy on L.A. Please don't rag on the city about how phony it is, how much smog, crime, etc., there is here. As a lifelong resident I can tell you that this city has a heart. There are some good people here who are trying to make it a better place. L.A. takes a lot of flack for being L.A. Please don't fall into that cliche, it's too easy.

I'll be happy to answer any other questions.


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Nori J. Muster


Writing and publishing books, including e-books.


I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories

UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

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