So far, almost all of my published stuff is based in New England. My short stories “Orange Pineapple” and “Crush” are set on Cape Cod. Forgotten April is set outside of Boston. And then, there’s What Happened in Granite Creek.
Granite Creek is a fictional town in New Hampshire, but some of the places I mention in the novel are very real and dear to me, including two places in particular:
- Hodgie’s Ice Cream, which is in Amesbury, Mass., and home of the BEST ice cream I’ve ever had.
- Markey’s Lobster Pool, which is located on RT 286 in Seabrook, New Hampshire, as you head towards the beach. It’s a place I’ve frequented since I was a kid, and a place where I enjoyed eating fish and chips and steamers with my mom and grandmother and feeding French fries to the sea gulls that flocked on the outside balcony (something that’s no longer allowed now, though it was common practice back in the day when I was 10 in 1983).
I like including as much “real” local flavor as possible since setting is critical to most stories, often playing a character in its own right. By including real places, I make it that much more enjoyable and relatable to readers who’ve been there or who have been to some place similar. Plus, real places are easier to describe. If I were to tell you about Markey’s Lobster Pool, I wouldn’t need to fake it and make stuff up…I’d simply dial up my memory, or, even better, go on a road trip for “research.” 🙂
How ’bout you? Can you think of books you’ve read where the location played a critical role…and were you happy to learn some of it was real? Share in the comments.