Thursday, February 23, 2012

Are Those Fictional Places Real?

Are the fictional places in my novels real?

Actually some of them are.

The gift shop to the left could house any number of specialty boutiques mentioned in my fictional towns of Oyster Bay or Inspiration Valley.

And doesn't the little coffee shop pictured on the right remind you of Espresso Yourself from Lucy Arlington's Buried in A Book? I can practically see Makayla behind the counter.

And next to that is a little bookstore that could easily be Inspiration Valley's bookstore, The Constant Reader. These places truly exist in a little town in central North Carolina.

Last weekend, I took a road trip to Hillsborough, North Carolina.

This is a charming small town north of Chapel Hill and parts of it have ended up in a few of my
books. I lived there for years (this was my little white house. Four rooms, no insulation, no A/C, and the lot next door used to be filled with chiggers, snakes, and spiders the size of your thumb). My mother lives on a beautiful piece of farmland overlooking a forest on one side and a field of cows on the other. Heaven.

My mom just had knee replacement surgery and while she was taking a rest I took a walk and brought my camera along. Here are some of the real shops that inspired some of the fictional ones. I thought you might enjoy seeing the real-life Southern charm of these special places.

The Saratoga Grill on the right might just have easily been Grumpy's Diner in my fictional town of Oyster Bay. Including Olivia's window booth, of course. No roller skating dwarves here.

On the left, this could easily be the hardware store featured in several of the Books By the Bay installments. Isn't it cute?

Which fictional place would you like to visit?
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