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?


Maureen Hayes said...

Okay, I know this may sound silly but being a huge Jane Austen fan I would love to visit Lyme, but in Jane's time! I also would love to visit Downtown Abbey! I know neither of those are in Cozy mysteries so my pick there would be the Colorado own that Maggie Sefton's created for Kelly Flynn and her friends in her knitting shop series!

Booklady said...

I too would like to visit Kelly Flynn's town. And since I live in Colorado, maybe I could.

I would also like to visit Oyster Bay and Inspiration Valley. As an Army wife, I spent about 10 years at Ft. Bragg, so I love books set in the Carolinas.

Thanks for sharing your inspirations. I love the white house.

Beverly aka Booklady

Anonymous said...

My mom lives in Hillsborough too! I'm going to have to send her this post. I know she'll be tickled that some of the Oyster Bay places are based on these real life places she sees everyday! :-)

Ellery Adams said...

Wow, what a coincidence! I wonder if they know each other! Tell her mine works for Leland Little Auctions. :)

Aurian said...

The place I really want to visit, is Laura Childs Tea Shop, which is in Charleston. But well, I want to see the whole of America. Where is that winning lotery ticket?

lori cimino said...

Lord I have a whole bucket list. I would love to see the Scotland of Diana Gabaldo's series which I know is not a cozy. My cosy list?
Oyster Bay, the town Tori and the Southern Sewing Circle live in which I cannot recall. The Minnesota town of Monica Ferris's series, definately Kelly Flynn and friends in Colorado, the village Blend in the coffehouse mysteries, the booktown in Lorna Barretts....okay okay, I will stop...