Today author Gabi Stevens finishes up her Time of Transition paranormal trilogy with Wishful Thinking. The tale concludes the author’s light Urban Fantasy series about a woman who discovers that she is the next in line to become a Fairy Godmother. In this story Gabi finds herself at Black’s Beach in San Diego, famous for something it doesn’t have a lot of — clothed bathers. But why did Stevens decide to send her heroine to a nude beach and what type of research did she do in order to incorporate this unusual setting into her latest novel? Find out in this special guest post.
You might imagine that the undergrads of the University of California at San Diego spend much of their (limited — believe it or not, UCSD is actually a studious school) spare time at the beach. You’d be right. When I went to school there, UCSD even offered PE classes in surfing, sailing, and sand volleyball. But if a student wanted to head to the beach nearest to campus, it required a hike down a cliff (fastest way) or following a long winding road (not so fast). Either way, you’d end up at Black’s Beach.
Black’s Beach is a nude beach.
Oh, not officially, but, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, everyone in San Diego knows Black’s Beach is a nude beach, and it’s public, and the law looks the other way. At least the part run by the state park. There are boundaries marking where clothing is mandatory and where it isn’t.
Black’s Beach is an isolated strip of ocean shore, cut off at one end by cliffs and the other by rocks. Truly one of the most beautiful spots to enjoy the ocean, the beach itself is wide and sandy. The water is blue. And cold. If you haven’t been to the beach in California, don’t expect warm water. My husband, who grew up in San Diego, always carried a wetsuit in the back of his car in case the desire to go body surfing struck him.
And as you know, cold water has an interesting affect on body parts.
As glamorous as a nude beach may sound, it’s not. Hate to burst that bubble, but most of the patrons of Black’s Beach tend to be older. You don’t find cover models at Black’s Beach. You will find guys on shore leave (SD is a big navy town) whom you can recognize from their tan arms and white bodies, soon to be red, as a result of uniforms. And you will never look at beach volleyball the same again after seeing a game on Black’s.
As an undergrad, a trip to Black’s is considered a rite of passage (at least it was when I was a student there). Yes, I have been to Black’s; yes, I did go topless (TMI?); and, yes, I went with a friend, male, when both our significant others were busy with classes and we had a few free hours. No, it wasn’t a passionate experience. I went to tan, and Frieder (that was his name) went to swim. But I like to think of my trip to Black’s as my one (yes, one — really, I haven’t led a wild life except in my head) rebellious episode of my youth.
I used Black’s Beach in my latest novel, Wishful Thinking. In the story, Stormy, my heroine, is a fairy godmother being held against her will. She uses her magic to pop out of her where she’s held and ends up on Black’s Beach. She happens to be there in the middle of the night, but she knows exactly where she is because Stormy is a free spirit and has been to Black’s many times. Tan lines, you see. She doesn’t want any. Black’s Beach is a familiar and safe place for her, so when she needs an escape that’s where she goes.
So, while it’s somewhat of a legend and snicker-inducer in San Diego, Black’s Beach is famous, or infamous, depending on your point of view.
- Gabi Stevens
Want to find out how Stormy fares at Black’s Beach and whether or not she will succeed in her new role as a fairy godmother? You’re in luck, Wishful Thinking hits stores today! And for more supernatural stories, be sure to check out RT’s Everything Paranormal Page.