Today I have the wonderful Leigh Talbert Moore on the blog to talk about the setting of her book, Dragonfly. This book starts off at the beach and so its a perfect one to kick off summer with. I always love hearing about the stories behind a books setting and I hope that you do as well.
Hi, Irish! Thanks for having me here, and I love how your blog focuses on travel and places in novels.
The setting for Dragonfly is based on a real place. For seven years, I lived in Baldwin County, Alabama, and I wrote for the newspaper there. Part of my job was to write the daily “Get to Know” column, which spotlighted influential or interesting locals.
Dragonfly was the first novel I ever wrote, and it grew from listening to the many stories different people would tell me. For instance, when I interviewed the manager for a local resort chain, she told me that visitors often thought the chain was named after a real man. (It wasn’t.)
I thought, “What if there was a man who’d developed all this area?” And out popped Bill Kyser.
My hairstylist grew up in the area, and she told me about the “Catman,” which is one of those local “boogie men” people tell children stories about. He’s half-man, half wildcat, and he prowls the area at night.
Naturally, he would make an appearance at a haunted hay maze and scare all the kids.
I learned that many of the local residents grew up doing farm work in the summers, because the area had been a small, farming community before it was developed into a tourist destination. And all that development was pretty recent. That transformation appears more in the next book, Undertow.
Otherwise, the beauty of the area, the flowers and the ocean, the white sands and turquoise waters, that’s all real and came from me simply looking around. At the same time, I suppose it could be any beachfront community from Gulf Shores all the way down the panhandle of Florida.
I loved living in the area, so I was happy to set a story there. I interviewed a lady once who’d written a book on the history of Orange Beach. She titled it The Best Place to Be. Haha! It’s true, though.
Even thought the story is 100 percent fiction, I hope readers get a sense of the community through these books.
Thanks again for having me! Hope you like the Dragonfly series.
Three bad things I learned this year:-People you trust lie, even parents.-That hot guy, the one who’s totally into you, he might not be the one.-Things are not always how they appear.Three good things I learned this year:-Best friends are always there for you, even when they’re far away.-That other hot guy, the one who remembers your birthday, he just might be the one.-Oh, and things are not always how they appear.Anna Sanders expected an anonymous (and uneventful) senior year until she crossed paths with rich-and-sexy Jack Kyser and his twin sister Lucy.Pulling Anna into their extravagant lifestyle on the Gulf Coast, Lucy pushed Anna outside her comfort zone, and Jack showed her feelings she’d never experienced… Until he mysteriously withdrew.Anna turned to her internship at the city paper and to her old attraction for Julian, a handsome local artist and rising star, for distraction. But both led to her discovery of a decades-old secret closely guarded by the twins’ distant, single father.A secret that could permanently change all their lives.Be watching for Undertow, Book 2 in the Dragonfly series, coming July 18!
ABOUT LEIGH T. MOORE:
Leigh Talbert Moore is the author of the popular young adult romantic comedy The Truth About Faking, its companion The Truth About Letting Go, and the mature YA/new adult romantic suspense novel Rouge, a Quarter Finalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
She is an award-winning journalist and editor, who has also worked in marketing and public relations for many years. Her writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the southeast and Midwest U.S., and she runs the popular writing-craft blog That’s Write.
A southern ex-pat and beach bum, she currently lives with her husband, two young children, and one grumpy cat in the Midwest.
Enter to #WIN a Kindle Touch loaded with all FOUR of Leigh’s books AND an exclusive eARC of Undertow; A signed, print set of Dragonfly and Undertow, or ebook sets of both!