Real place, fake people.
Love by Premonition is a paranormal-themed book that I wanted to set in a realistic environment, so I constructed a world out of my ancestors’ stomping grounds. The rural setting and deep family roots of North Carolina’s Halifax County make the place ripe for some stranger-than-fiction scenarios. I like strange, so I ran with it! Now, just because a book is fiction (especially campy paranormal romance fiction) doesn’t mean the author didn’t do research. I’ve been studying Enfield’s families for more than a decade trying to unravel my family tree, so I know a bit about the history. Furthermore, I’m a North Carolinian so I know the culture.
Here are few “real” nuggets from the novel.
1 – Surnames. The names I gave my supporting characters are typical of Eastern North Carolina, and Halifax County specifically. The Silvers? Braswells? Bryants? The area is bursting with them. Although the characters aren’t modeled after any specific people, I felt like I couldn’t ignore those famous families. (And by famous, I mean “really freaking big.” If you have ancestry from that area that doesn’t overlap with one of those families, I’d be shocked. [For you genealogists stumbling onto this via Google, let’s chat, huh?])
2 – Overly dramatic locals. That’s not to say everyone in Halifax County are emotionally erratic, but in such a rural place that folks are just more comfortable putting their quirks on display. (You should see my private Facebook stream. Y’ALL. OMG. I see everything from weapon brandishing to communicated threats [e.g. “When you see my car in your yard tomorrow, come on outside and get your beat-down.”] on a daily basis.)
So, brazen tramp showing up at the mayor’s wake with a bogus will? Same audacious hussy being walloped in the street by mayor’s widow? Wish I could say I conjured that sub-plot out of thin air. (That particular subplot is actually a combination of my own family experience and, again, unbelievable Facebook shenanigans.)
3 – Rampant miscegenation. My protagonist—Marcia—explains some local history, including the ripe conditions in Enfield for creation of a tri-racial isolate. That’s a real thing. I swear. It’s a historically accurate inclusion, but the locals may not know it by that fancy phrase. They call that “skeletons in the closet.” More accurately, “skeletons in the family tree.”
4 – Hinky supernatural stuff. Hang with a born Southerner of a certain age long enough, and you’ll hear the stories. You may even start to witness some pretty wild stuff yourself. I have personally been anointed with holy oil (in my sleep) as a defense against demons. (Ahem.) So…Marcia’s grandma Sophia? I didn’t just conjure her from thin air.
Love by Premonition is available for purchase now at the Musa store at http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=35_27&products_id=581 and also at third-party vendors such as Amazon.com and All Romance eBooks.