The Twilight books have the real town of Forks, Washington, as their major setting. My book Hunter’s Moon and its forthcoming sequels have Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, as theirs.
Authors who set their books in real places usually (hopefully!) do at least some research on those locations if they’re not already familiar with them. I haven’t had the chance to visit Wellsboro yet*—I really want to, though—but of course online research is pretty darn helpful.
I pored over Pennsylvania maps, Wikipedia articles, and did many Google searches before choosing Wellsboro. Why did I pick that particular town? Well . . . that’s a deep subject!** Ahem. Sorry, she hijacked me again.
I opted for Wellsboro because:
1) I wanted my book to be set in a place with a lot of woods (hence Pennsylvania).
2) For thematic reasons, I also wanted a place that has winter and fall. Not to mention, autumn forests are just SO BEAUTIFUL!
3) I preferred to set Hunter’s Moon in a smaller and more isolated town rather than in a big city because I grew up in a small town (in suburbia, but still . . .) and the events that happen in the book fit best with a less-populous environment.
4) Wellsboro has a lot of quaint charm and I like its name. :) It’s definitely on my list of places to visit after all the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and it’s safe for me to emerge from my hidey hole.
Specific details about the real town of Wellsboro didn’t make it into Hunter’s Moon; they simply didn’t fit into the plot. Melanie’s college campus and other made-up locations, like the Doyles’ cabin, are where the book primarily takes place.
Like I said in point 3, the story pretty much requires the school that Mel attends to be smallish (like the one I got my BA from). Small towns and colleges tend to breed more gossip, since what else is there to do? . . . Oh yeah, hang out at Walmart until they close at 8 p.m. ;)
I’m not going to write an essay describing Wellsboro because I’m all done with school and you can’t make me and also there are tons of articles already out there that you can read about Wellsboro. ;P Here are a couple to get you started.
Who knows—maybe in the future, aspects of the real Wellsboro will fit into the storyline of the Wolves of Wellsboro series. We shall see!
Now, back to killing off all my characters . . . just kidding!!
*I’ve driven/ridden across Pennsylvania (W–E and back) several times, so I’m familiar with their infamously always-under-construction highways; Ohio’s are that way too. So if I’ve got jokes about bad traffic and construction in my books, well—yes, I am venting frustration! Haha.
**The PUNisher strikes again!! Bwa ha ha!! I’m a wellspring of puns, and water you going to do about it? . . . I also put this joke in because of nostalgia and some dear old friends I miss sometimes. I wonder if they’ll ever read this. . . .