I love immersing in a story and transporting myself inside the pages. Books can take us places we’ve never been, but they can also take us to familiar places. While it’s fun to explore new locations we may never get a chance to visit, it’s also fun to read about familiar ones.
Last year I discovered Teresa Tysinger’s Laurel Cove series. When I started reading the first book, something felt familiar (it’s even titled, Someplace Familiar). Even though I knew Laurel Cove was a fictional town, I felt a connection based on what I was reading. I messaged Teresa on Instagram and had to ask where this inspired location was in real life. When she told me Laurel Cove was based on a small town close to where she went to college, I knew immediately where she went to school. Funny thing was, it’s only a couple of hours from where I went to college and where I live now.
The small town of Burnsville is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. These mountains offer some of the most spectacular views you’ll ever see, and Teresa and I both share a love of this familiar place. Take a look at Blue Ridge Moments Instagram page to see for yourself. Look at these pictures of the Blue Ridge Mountains and imagine this scenery as you read the Laurel Cove Series. The last book will release on February 22, and I can’t wait to visit one of my favorite little towns once again.
In my first book, Holding on to Someday, the fictional town of Southern Springs, North Carolina is also an inspired location based on the small town I live in today. It’s also where I went to college and the reason I chose it. Many of my college friends who’ve read this book have asked, “Is that Boiling Springs?” and I always answer, “Yep, it sure is.”
Bakersfield, Florida is another inspired location in my Finding Home series. I created this fictional town after years of driving through the Florida panhandle on the way to the beach and taking in the beautiful farmland. I never knew the names of the towns I passed through, but I knew what they looked like, so I let my imagination run free as I created this small, farming town where Cait, Piper, Nolan, and Cort all grew up.
Some might wonder why I don’t use the real town in a book. As an author, I come up with these “inspired locations” because it allows me the creativity to make the place my own. While there is certainly something familiar about the setting, the details don’t have to be exact because it’s fictional.
Do you enjoy when authors create their own places or do you prefer to read about real-life towns?