Luna Park (research for Crash Into Pieces)

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Note: This is a blog post diving into parts of the research for my new thriller, Crash Into Pieces. I’ve done my best to avoid MAJOR spoilers, but if you haven’t read the book and want to go in fresh, you might want to bookmark this one.

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Luna Park is an amusement park in Sydney Harbor, right smack down on the water. If I remember correctly from my visit there a few years ago, you can see it from the downtown waterfront area (and definitely from the ferry that takes visitors over to the Sydney Zoo on the same side of the harbor.)

I remember seeing the giant gate into the park and thinking how unique (and kind of creepy) it is, so I thought it would be a memorable location to work into Crash Into Pieces.


The gate was shaped like a giant mouth, complete with a row of jagged, bright-white teeth hanging above the hordes of excited children underneath. As he passed through, his view met the cartoonish eyes of the thirty-foot-wide face as it welcomed visitors to the park.

That thing is going to give me nightmares.


After I decided to place Caesar and his team in Sydney as part of their worldwide mission to help people, the park seemed like an obvious meeting place; a good, crowded environment ideal for meeting a stranger.

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I had Caesar walking through the gates and down one side of the park, finally stopping in front of a carousel:


As he continued down the main strip, a giant Ferris wheel came into view. Alternating green and blue and red passenger cars flew through the air, with the Sydney Harbor Bridge serving as a majestic backdrop. The wheel spun, gently rocking the cars, some tipping back and forth, as passengers scurried about, checking different windows for the best angle to take a selfie.

Turning to his right, Caesar saw a carousel in the distance. He walked under a sign reading ‘100 Years of FUN!’ and took a spot on the rail next to a man in a gray jacket.


Here’s a few pictures from Luna Park that inspired that scene, although with some slight adjustments:

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The Ghost Train:

There’s a brief passage in the Luna Park scene that mentions “The Ghost Train” as part of a code. The Ghost Train was an attraction that caused a large fire at the park in 1979. There’s a Wikipedia passage on it here. 

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To see this and other real-world hacks in action, check out the page-turning books in the Haylie Black series, now available on Amazon.

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Crash Alive

Haylie Black: Book One
Can you Crack the Code?

The award-winning tech thriller that introduces Haylie Black, a 17-year-old hacker with a chip on her shoulder. When her brother vanishes trying to solve a legendary Internet puzzle, Haylie knows that she’s the only one who can track him down. As she begins to reveal the mysteries behind each clue, she’s pulled deeper and deeper into a secret world she never could have imagined.

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Crash Into Pieces

Haylie Black: Book Two
Only Trust the Government as Much as the Government Trusts You.

Haylie Black, a now-infamous teenage hacker, is struggling to live a normal life. When a mysterious hacker known as the Endling emerges, she must use her skills to solve the enigma behind the man. As the hunt unfolds, she discovers secrets bigger than she ever imagined, and will be forced to make a choice that will change her life forever.

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