A bell tower and etched glass and lots and lots of books! These are just a few things that make up the magnificent Provo Library in Utah, the setting of BY YOUR SIDE. When I saw this library for the first time, I was in awe. It is amazing. It is gorgeous.
Every year for the last four years I’ve had the opportunity to do a signing at this library. When our host heard I was writing a book that takes place there, she took me on a tour of the library. This is where I found out the library was even cooler than I had realized. So let me tell you about my favorite “stop” on the tour. The bell tower.
We rode up the slowest elevator in the universe (this isn’t a verified fact but it sure felt like it) to the top floor. This is an interesting floor. It has a storage room that held everything from fabric to life sized paper machete ballerinas. Outside the storage room is an open space that they hold gallery type events in. It has white walls and distinct ceiling angles and circular windows. And then there is the door. The door leads up to the bell tower. It is very much like I describe it in the book. It has a metal circular staircase. The staircase feels rickety even though I’m positive it’s totally up to code. The rickety part could just be the fear of heights in me talking. Because that’s how I always feel when I’m climbing anything tall—like I’m about to plunge to my death. At the top of this staircase, sitting on the railing, is a wooden owl. And when you look straight up, you see the underside of the bell with the rope hanging down.
After climbing that tower and seeing that bell and staring that owl in the eyes, I knew I had to include a scene in the book with it. I knew Autumn would end up there at some point. And she did. Twice, actually. They are some of my favorite scenes in the book. I hope you enjoy them!