Of course the peninsula in Erie, on whose beaches I spent some of the best parts of my youth, is called Presque Isle State Park so the name was easy to come by. As I built my city I built in many places I recalled with great pleasure -- the bookstore on French Street, Sullivan's Pub and the Crazy Horse Saloon, Waldameer Park, the museum on Sixth Street, the watch tower on the docks. But I was also able to adjust the locations to place businesses where I needed them to be, especially the Canal Street Diner and the Old Mermaid Inn itself.
There's something sort of lovely about inventing a place that is similar to a place you love but has charms of its own. For my new novel, Depraved Heart, I invented an island that I named Hephzibah Regrets off the coast of Salem and Gloucester. And my next book, The Whiskey Bottle in the Wall, is entirely set in a mythical Pennsylvania Dutch community, Marienstadt, which is based on my home town. Of course, inventing place is one of the joys of writing which I need to get back to now.
This blog post is part of the April 2012 A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Thanks for visiting.