Last night I heard from our new social media assistant Randi about places in The Broken Circle, which got me thinking about how much of an author’s real life goes into the books they write, even fantasy stories about knitting witches.
Randi lives in Coventry, Vermont which is a few small towns over from the tiny village of Barton, where I live. In the Broken Circle I discuss where my characters get their supplies and mention a smithy in Coventry, where Kendrick gets the silver bells for his horse harnesses. As it turns out, Coventry in the Middlelands and Coventry, Vermont is pretty much in the middle of everything in our neck of the woods as well.
Was this conscious on my part? No, but I love the tiny hamlet of Coventry and can imagine that it would be a good place for a blacksmith shop, and perhaps it even had one a century ago.
Likewise, Middlemarch and the World’s Fair held there every spring are based on Tunbridge, Vermont and the Tunbridge World’s Fair which happens here each fall, even down to the expansion bridge over the river, which is the only way into the fair — unless you know the back way. In my book the knitting witches don’t, which is why Niles has to help Skye across the bridge with her two ponies. It is not until Book Two when Trader escapes from the Dark Queen that she and Niles discover the back way into the fairgrounds.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I know I have blogged before about how Bordertown is based on my favorite walled city of all time, York in the UK, and I spent two days walking its walls last fall to get a sense of what it might have been like for Aubergine and Smokey Jo to live there. My husband and I just got back from Peru, so don’t be surprised if you see an embellished version of Machu Picchu in Book Two!