Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. This week’s question is: “Do you use real or fictional cities in your writing? How do you incorporate them into the story?”
I’ve always used real cities in my work, and I seriously doubt I would use a fictional town. That having been said, I often use fictional restaurants and other establishments, including a disclaimer that says if a place sounds like an existing business, it’s purely coincidental.
However, in my latest, Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me, I stretched the truth as to locations of certain establishments. For example, in the below excerpt, Daryl picks up his sixteen-year-old daughter from school early because of a snowstorm and takes her to Wendy’s for lunch. In Sheridan, there’s no Wendy’s near the high school. It’s clear over on the other end of town. There’s a McDonald’s closer to the high school, but it’s out of the way. Given the story’s timing, I didn’t want to slow things down. Some of us authors have a method to our madness.
I called Marti and let her know about our rehearsal being canceled, then eased out of my parking space and made my way through the snowy streets. When I passed a Wendy’s, I realized I hadn’t yet eaten lunch.
The loading zone in front of the high school was a jumbled mass of cars, school buses, and students. I spotted Natalie and honked. Her face broke into a grin, and she dashed toward my car, her feet slipping on the newly fallen snow.
When she opened the passenger side car door, I asked, “Why didn’t you wear your boots, silly?”
“I didn’t think it would be this bad,” she said, knocking snow off her shoes before climbing in beside me with her backpack and closing the door. “Yuck!”
She turned to me and smiled. “I couldn’t believe it when Mom called and said you were picking me up.”
“Why wouldn’t I pick you up? I certainly couldn’t let you walk home from the bus stop in this, especially with those shoes. Buckle up. Are you hungry?”
“Yeah,” she answered, fastening her seatbelt. “We had meatloaf here, but it wasn’t as good as Mom’s.”
“How about Wendy’s? I saw they were still open when I drove past. We’ll pick up some stuff and take it home.”
Who is Marti,, and what rehearsal is Daryl talking about? Why wouldn’t Daryl pick up his daughter? Read the book and find out. See below for details.
How about you writers out there? In your fiction, are your cities real or imagined? Click here to participate in this week’s hop and read other bloggers’ responses.
Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
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Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
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Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?