Welcome to the Underground

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PhotobucketI’m an Atlanta native, but my kids are not. I was surprised on a trip home a couple of years ago when my son asked me what the Atlanta Underground was. A lot of people not familiar with Atlanta might assume this had something to do with the Underground Railroad and pre-Civil War South. It turns out this is not the origin of the Atlanta underground. He didn’t know that, of course.

I’m not going to try to recount all of that history here since it is so vast, but the knowledge of it niggled at me. The idea that a modern city could have a secret, underground history was just too appealing. It’s the perfect breeding ground for a supernatural book.

And then I started to think, how could I do this? How could I make an underground city, and underground society, into a book? I didn’t go as far as I wanted to with Kiss of Darkness, but I’m doing it in the sequel I’m writing. Three non-human races, who live most comfortably in the dark, away from human sight, underground. And even if they aren’t physically underground, emotionally and mentally they are. They’re secret. They can’t let the world at large know who they are. It is a fascinating world to work with, made even better by the great characters it’s handed me.

There are dozens of other underground cities around the world to explore. The city I loosely modeled Camden off of is Macon, Ga. I’ve read rumors and hints of this city and a secret underground, and I couldn’t resist making it my own. Though, sadly, I’ve found nothing to support the rumors. I can still hope for something odd. Right? What about you? Do you long to discover these lost secret places? Do you know one?

17 thoughts on “Welcome to the Underground”

  1. Kathy Ivan says:

    Congratulations on the sale. Mysterious underground ciy, huh? Definitely has a paranormal appeal to me. Love those kinds of stories. :-)

  2. You’ve reminded me that I’ve never done the Seattle Underground tour after nearly a dozen years living here–not because I’m not interested, but because it’s so easy not to get around to seeing the sights close to home because they’re always going to be here.

  3. I had no idea Seattle had an Underground, Susanna. And I agree about missing the sights near you. There’s plenty of stuff in my area I haven’t seen!

  4. There’s not a lot of underground stuff in California because of the earthquakes…most houses don’t even have basements, but heck yeah, I’d want to check it out if there was an historic underground to my city!

  5. Inez Kelley says:

    I love how inspiration can come from anywhere and spark al kinds of madness. Lovely story. Good luck!

  6. Actually, because of the earthquakes I’d be surprised if there isn’t some cool underground stuff there, Crystal. Not that it would be safe to explore lol!

  7. Jeannie Lin says:

    Pretty cool!

    Not as neat as an underground city, but there were tunnels beneath UCLA. Some of the entrances were pretty cool and all cloak and dagger. There was a grate outside the Psychology building hidden in the shrubbery, for instance. Then you’d ladder down to reach a gate that led into the tunnels. Lots of little fun adventures crawling around down there. They were quite extensive and spanned the whole campus. Going down there is…umm…discouraged though in case there are any UCLA peeps reading this.

    Fascinating topic to grow into a premise. Kiss of Darkness sounds absolutely intriguing and the cover is wonderful.

  8. Definitely true, Inez! Thanks!

  9. Kate Pearce says:

    having grown up in London I’m kind of used to the idea of underground cities as there is so much history piled on top of other history there. There are places which have been excavated beneath the current city to reveal ancient Roman hotels, the cellar of Cardinal Wolsey’s house, all perfectly preserved! So I’d love to read this book!

  10. Jeannie, the UCLA tunnels sound fascinating. I’ll have to Google that as I’m using a lot of tunnels now!

    Kate, that sounds awesome. I’ve read a bit about some of the finds under England’s cities. I’d love to get a look at them in person!

  11. Ella Drake says:

    There are rumors about an underground city beneath Leavenworth Kansas & the mystery of how it got there. I ran across it with my own research and would love to learn more about it.

    BTW, I love Underground Atlanta. Every time I go, my imagination runs wild.

  12. Ella, is that Ft. Leavenworth or a town called Leavenworth? Either way, sounds cool! Hope you find out something. Underground Atlanta is very cool. I haven’t gone in awhile. Maybe on my next trip home!

  13. Carly Carson says:

    So is there an underground tunnel or whatnot under Atlanta? (Officially confused) I found it interesting to learn that in Rome, the subway system is not too good because they kept running into ancient ruins that they couldn’t just obliterate.

  14. I love tales of underground mysteries! My home town of Wallasey, on the outer tip of a peninsula bounded by the Irish Sea and the rivers Mersey and Dee, was home to smugglers in times gone by. The rock beneath the town is reputed to be riddled with the tunnels they used to avoid revenue men while they transported their goods inland, although modern buildings cover most of the evidence now. I left the town many years ago, but I still think about those tunnels and would love to go back and find one.

  15. Atlanta Underground has fascinated me ever since my 6-month stint in Georgia thirteen years ago. Between the underground and Little Five Points, that area is a fabulous template for paranormals (and it’s a setting I’m currently writing in, too).

    I hadn’t heard Macon has a rumored underground city – news to me!

  16. Emily, Little Five Points was my teenage hangout. It’s a great place!

    David, your smuggler’s caves sound awesome. I want to visit!

    Carly, Underground Atlanta is a part of downtown that was actually built on top of, well, the old downtown. It was abandoned for years, but I guess it was in the 80s, a group of people thought it would be a good tourist attraction. Now it’s a bunch of bars, restaurants, and stores. It’s very cool.

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