Not all the good in the world is known – the same can be said for the bad. People, places and events that seem random, really aren’t.
How are we to know whose lives will be affected, or destroyed? Will one wrong move make the difference? Will one bad decision end somebody’s life?
No one knows what will be lost – or who will be Found.
Why I Set My Novel in Los Angeles
When I sat down to write ‘Found,’ I wanted to set it in Los Angeles for a couple of reasons. I live here, so considering this is my first novel I wanted to have a sense of familiarity with the setting to make my writing process smoother. Secondly, I wanted to show that L.A. is really just like any other city despite the image that’s generally portrayed in pop culture.
When you think of Los Angeles, two visions come to mind. It’s either the Kardashian/Hollywood glitz and excess – which we’re all familiar with – or the gritty, unforgiving side that’s been the rage the last few years with movies like Nightcrawler and television shows like Fear The Walking Dead. Sure, L.A. is both of those things, but its actually a much smaller part of the town than you think. Mainly its one big sprawled-out suburb after suburb (or apartment building after apartment building). Honestly, the majority of daily life in Los Angeles isn’t different from residential areas in any medium-to-large city. It’s going to the supermarket, or Target, or the mall or the movies – except it’s always 72 degrees and there’s always traffic. It’s how the majority of us live here, and that’s what I wanted to convey in ‘Found.’ The book takes place in Los Angeles but it could have occurred in any city, which is something I wanted to accomplish and have readers “get.” I desired my characters to be doing everyday things like taking the bus and going out for pizza but doing it in a city where you never think of people doing everyday things like that. That’s what shocks a lot of people about L.A. – life is translatable to anywhere, whether its Dallas or Denver or Des Moines.
Another aspect of life in Los Angeles I wanted to sprinkle into my book came to me from a few people I know who have lived here and subsquently moved away. They all tell me the same thing – what they miss the most about L.A. is the overall convenience of the city. You’re never more than a few minutes away from anything you need. Want to have Thai food for dinner? You likely have four choices within 15 minutes of you, regardless of your location. Have to go to the supermarket? You could probably walk to three different ones from your house (or apartment) without breaking a sweat. I’m fond of saying the needs of every person on earth can be found somewhere on the massive length and melting pot that is Ventura Boulevard.
The climax to my novel takes place in a location that’s a garden-variety locale, a place I’m sure you’ve been to something like it more than once, and never think twice about. I like writing about the everyday, and I wanted to bring that element to ‘Found.’ To me that’s where the real drama lies for all of us. Life sneaks up on you when you’re not looking, and things are never the same. We can all relate to that. (And on a separate note, if you’re ever coming to L.A., you can get a pretty good meal from a chain restaurant – plenty of them are just as good as the chichi places.)
About the Author
Jason Smith began his career in television production before becoming both a network TV and radio personality. He has spent the last dozen years with ESPN, the NFL Network, and Fox Sports Radio. He currently hosts “The Jason Smith Show”, heard nights on FSR and iheart radio.
His other highlights include an Emmy Award for his work on ‘Sportscenter,’ marrying well, memorizing “Caddyshack” and the ’86 Mets. And not necessarily in that order.
And he’s glad Revis is back.
‘Found’ is his first novel.