I had no idea when the details for The Biker’s Wench started coming into focus that the setting for the story would develop into a character in and of itself. Fantasy Ranch was born from laziness, in that I don’t like to do a lot of research for my writing (I know some writers live for that – not me), so I decided to make up a location. Somewhere out in the “wild” where there wasn’t anything in real life, where I could just make up the details as I wrote. Little did I know that the path I chose would be just as much, if not more work than researching an existing location, but I still prefer it because I have complete control over my little fictional “world”. In short, it’s fun.
Up to this point in my writing, I really gave very little thought to the settings in my books, and went out of my way to be vague. But Fantasy Ranch is a real place in my head, and I hope readers will be just as intrigued by it as I am. I’ve really learned a lot about setting and world development even though I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. I’ll tell you what though – once you get a taste of this world creation stuff, it’s very addictive, or it has been for me. I have a major city under development in my head where the next two (at least) stand alone novels will be set, but I’ll share more about that later.
Today, I want to show you around the ranch a bit. Keep in mind that I’m still fleshing out much of this in my head, and everything here is subject to change.
Owners: Harlen “Harley” & Betsy Majors, brother and sister. Harley’s story is the first in the series, and Betsy’s is the second.
Location: Approximately 6 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada. Why Nevada? Because Nevada’s the only state where I could reasonably site a ranch that caters to adult fantasies without suspending my own belief too much. Why Reno? Because I needed a big city close by to make it easy to get supplies and a steady stream of tourist clientele without all guests staying at the ranch. Vegas seemed too cliché to my mind. And I didn’t want anyone to think I was basing my ranch off the very well known brothel close to Vegas. It turns out there is a gentleman’s ranch southwest of Reno, but my fictional business runs on an entirely different principle & philosophy.
Services: Fantasy Ranch is a fantasy fulfillment adult playground. Staff members are not to engage in sex with clients while on the clock, and it’s a fire-able offense to do so. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, but prostitution is not the purpose of the ranch.
Fantasy fulfillment is achieved through themed areas/buildings where adults can live another life for a few hours. There’s a biker bar, an old west tavern, a sultan’s palace complete with a harem, a mansion, a race car track, a clinic (with a real doctor & nurses on staff), a church, a full-service salon, and more. All of these areas have normal business hours, and maintain a strict theme adherence policy. Staff must be in costume and character at all times, and guests must rent proper attire from the main office or bring their own. Each themed area is available to reserve for parties as well, and companies occasionally hold conferences at the ranch. A dormitory houses the staff, and another offers guest rooms, though generally guests do not stay overnight. A shuttle service is available, as well as onsite parking.
Special quirk: Before Harley bought the ranch, it was owned by a cult group who dug a warren of tunnels underneath, running between many of the buildings. A few of the tunnels lead off in other directions as well – and you’ll find out more about those in the books. There are many rooms along the tunnels, and Harley’s renovating some for special rentals, and others for his own use.
Layout: Fantasy Ranch is arranged in a large square area, like a little town with two gravel roads running parallel to each other. At the front is the parking lot and the main office building where visitors check in and pay for access. The theme buildings are located on two sides of the square, with a double row running down the middle. The race track is just past the north side of the town, and the stables/barn are to the south. Along the end of the square is where the chapel, graveyard and a park are located. I’ll try to get some rudimentary sketches done for the web site this summer.
So that’s a general look at the ranch and what goes on there. Next month I’ll be building a web site for the Fantasy Ranch novels at FantasyRanchNovels.com that will include more detail, character sketches and a list of upcoming books. In the meantime, I’ll post snippets here when there’s an opening in the post schedule. Naturally if you want a taste of the ranch, you can read all or a portion of The Biker’s Wench in draft form right here on the blog, which is set to be released in ebook and print on July 31, 2011.
What do you think? Are you intrigued by the ranch? Questions & comments welcome, of course…
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