U is for Utah.
It just seemed like the perfect location for a (fictional) secret private-but-working-for-the-military think tank/laboratory, the sort of placed that shows up so often in novels by authors like Michael Crichton or Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Desolate, isolated… And besides, northern Arizona would have been too obvious, y’know?
About a year and a half ago, I posted a fragment of story/backstory that I still think I will never actually use in one of my novels (although, of course, saying that pretty much guarantees that I will end up using it, because my life is like that), but it’s the beginning of the whole “Utah” sequence that ends up leading to some important events in the novel I’m working on these days…
The story fragment was both an exercise in narrative style and an attempt to get the scene out of my head (where it had been lodged since approximately the early spring of 2001) and onto the page where I could then forget about it for a while. I’m writing a novel with a character from that scene, and dealing with the backstory let me feel like we — the character and I — had moved on a bit, ready to tackle current events rather than dwelling on the past.