In August 2014, I took a three-day vacation out to a little town in the middle of the northwestern Arizona desert called Meadview. There isn’t much to the town, but it changed my life and the way I look at life after only three days. The town is only about a two-hour ride from Las Vegas and once my friend, and I arrived at the little house I had rented, all stresses melted away and the creative juices started flowing. By the time we left the little slice of paradise to return to the big city, I had Speak of the Devil completed plotted out. As a result, most of the book takes place in Meadview.
On April 6, 2015, while on a trip back to Las Vegas for The Novel Experience Event, my mom (aka my travel companion) and I took a little drive out to Meadview. We snapped tons of pictures of the places I mention or describe in the book, all for the express purpose of taking you on a virtual tour of Speak of the Devil.
I try to keep everything on my website spoiler-free, but, for the purposes of this post, that’s impossible. However, this giant banner should be enough of a forewarning. lol If you have yet to read Speak of the Devil, some of this will be spoilers to you. I am going to try my hardest to not blow anything from the book, but I wanted to warn everyone that some stuff may slip through.
So, with that, here we go!
As you can see, Meadview is a little town in the middle of the desert, squished right between Upper Lake Mead and the Grand Canyon (western rim). We we were trying to see where Charlie’s house is in this image, it would be here, right at the outskirts of town, butted up against the Grand Wash Cliffs (which we cant see in the image):
To get out to Meadview, you have to drive for about an hour out a really long road called Pierce Ferry Road.
It passes through the desert town of Dolan Springs, and then passes by a few towns out in the distance from the road. I have no idea what those towns were called, but eventually, you are finally able to see Meadview in the distance.
And here’s a picture of Charlie’s house! This is the house I stayed in when I went on my three-day trip to the desert. The porch on the front faces the Grand Wash Cliffs and wraps down around one side of the house. I spent most of my time in Meadview sitting on this porch, staring in awe at the view. The house may not look like much, but it’s a perfect little place in the middle of nowhere.
As described in the book, the Grand Wash Cliffs are right in the back yard of the house, and that’s not exactly an exaggeration. Here’s a picture of the cliffs from the porch of the house:
During the day, the cliffs look to be a peppered mixture of brown and black, but when the sun dips below the horizon, the cliffs light up bright rusty red like they’re on fire.
Regardless of many preconceived notions about the desert, there is life all around. You may be surrounded by mostly browns, but there is color to be found. You just have to look in the right places.
The town of Meadview actually sits smack dab in the middle of a Joshua Tree forest. If you’ve never seen a Joshua Tree, they look like something straight out of a Dr. Suess book. They are absolutely beautiful in their own odd sort of way.
In Speak of the Devil, there is a scene where Vegas and Dez are sitting on the porch having a few drinks when they suddenly see a light of some sort fall from the sky slowly and drift down between two canyon walls. Upon inspection, they were unable to find any sort of crash site or the object which had fallen.
This scene was actually written from my very own experience. In the book, it was explained away with the Daughters of Eros taking stars right from the sky for the purpose of harnessing their celestial power to give their spell some big juju.
Here’s what really happened.
Our second night in Meadview, my friend Ron and I were hanging out on the porch, listening to music, having a few drinks, and generally relaxing. We were both standing by the railing when what looked like a stationary star in the sky suddenly began to fall. It didn’t streak through the sky like a shooting star. It didn’t move fast enough to be a helicopter. It didn’t have any blinking lights or move sideways like an airplane. It simply floated straight down until it disappeared out of sight in between two cliff walls.
No sooner did Ron say “what the fuck was that?”, another one began falling in the same manner, and just like the first, it disappeared down between two cliff walls.
This picture below is the spot on the horizon where it happened. The left black arrow is the far set of cliffs, the black arrow on the right is the near set of cliffs, and the red arrow is where the light disappeared between the cliff walls. The red arrow comes to a point right at the edge of the near cliffs. As you can see in the picture, you could plainly see if something dipped between the two cliffs because the object has to pass in front of the far cliffs to disappear at that spot.
To this day, we have no idea what it was that we saw that night, but I couldn’t NOT put it in the book.
In the book, Dez and Vegas have a………*ahem*…….reunion in a parking lot at the corner of Diamond Bar Rd. and Pierce Ferry Rd. Diamond Bar Rd. is the route by which one can get to the Hualapai Reservation, which is the only way to access the western rim of the Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon sky walk. Just as you turn on to the road, there is a big parking lot there on the right hand side so tourists can carpool in.
This is the parking lot where Dez goes to meet Vegas when she first calls to tell him where she is. They proceed to have their confrontation and resulting bone session. lol
Take the sedan on the right and turn it a beige color and it could easily be Vegas’ rental car. *wink wink*
One thing I did alter in the book because I couldn’t possibly follow their route myself is the scene where Vegas and Kade take off through the canyon from Meadview to track down the DOE when they have Dez. In the book, I stated that they found the entrance, with Lucas’ help, high up on a cliff wall. The place I got the inspiration for this is at Guano Point on the western rim of the Grand Canyon.
Here’s the wall I was picturing when I wrote that scene.
Could you imagine standing at the river’s edge, down there in the bottom center of the pic, and staring up at that wall???
After five trips to the Grand Canyon now, this is my favorite part of it. The canyon walls are close enough to give you a frame of reference for just how big the walls are. When writing that scene, I tried my best to convey what it must feel like to stand at the foot of that canyon wall, looking up at its mammoth size.
Well, that’s it for my tour of Speak of the Devil. Thank you for reading along! Now go reread Speak to see how your perception of the scenes have changed now that you have a picture of what everything looks like! 🙂
Thanks for visiting Meadview! Come back again soon!