The world is full of great places for a story's setting. The bustle of a large city like New York. The romance of the beaches of the Bahamas. The mystery of the Orient.
When most people think of deserts, they picture sand and camels. The Sahara and Death Valley come to mind. But high desert is different.
High desert is just that - high elevation. (As in, you get to use the high altitude directions on cake mixes.)
There's more rock than sand.
Scrub brush and cacti abound, but so do pine trees at the higher elevations.
There's rolling hills and large mountains.
It doesn't rain often, but there's definitely a thunderstorm season.
There's also a dust season, Yes, tumbleweeds are for real!
Fewer bugs, but more poisonous critters.
It's often windy. Okay, where I lived, it was always windy! And there was always a headwind, no matter which direction you faced.
Since rocks outnumber trees, many buildings are made of adobe. (Such a fun word, isn't it?)
Fall mornings, it is cold before the sun rises, and at its coldest the moment the sun crests the horizon.
And the most beautiful thing about high desert - sunsets. The gradual shading of yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to black is indescribable. Sorry no photo - I always meant to take a picture!
I used a high desert setting and the city of Albuquerque in Book IV of my series, incorporating most of the above into my story.
Are you ready to incorporate a high desert into your story?