So, Georgia seemed the perfect place to set my new novel. They’ve got the terrain I want. They’ve got the critters that are integral to my story. All in all, you’re a perfect fit, Georgia baby.
There’s only one problem. I’ve never been to Georgia, not really. A former road trip clipped the corner one time, and I think I might have gone through it as a child (I can’t remember.) Oh sure, I’ve done a lot of surfing with Google maps. I’ll probably bust out Google Earth one of these days when I have hours to spend. (Because that’s how much time it sucks away from you. First Georgia, then Paris, then Cairo, and oh, you get the idea.)
I live in Texas and have lived here for most of my life. (I once lived in Arkansas for six months.) I know a few people from Georgia, though, so that helps with speech. A relative once told me that, “Country is country,” so I’m not too worried about dialect.
I know before I finish that I’ll have to go to Georgia, probably via road trip, and spend some actual time there, getting a feel for it, getting a smell for it and most of all, driving the route my characters are going to take so I can find out some things that I need. Like, did I put that motel in the right place. Is there really a diner there? Is their barbeque sauce as good as rumor has it? That’s, um, very important to my novel. Yes, and has almost totally little to nothing to do with my love of barbeque.
Oh, as an aside–and yes, it has to do with barbeque sauce–I love the condiment section at grocery stores here in South Texas. There’s a small ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise section and then a whopping big barbeque section. It’s almost the entire aisle along with a large selection of pickles. Is it that way in West Texas, Maria?
So, right, Georgia. I must take a trip there before summer’s end. Any suggestions as to when? It’ll probably have to be in June or July. I know it’s going to be hot, but I’m from the South. I can do hot. Anyone from there? Lived there? Have you ever written about a real place you’ve never actually been? Did you wind up road-tripping it there?
Also, I’ll be posting on another topic today at Fansci. Come on over and say hello.