Welcome to Pine Hills, South Carolina


"Pine Hills, South Carolina,—a small dismal town buried between Savannah, Georgia and Charleston. Spooky. Haunted. An old town legend swore that ghosts from Savannah had drifted into Pine Hills and that they now slumbered between our city walls. I don't know how much of that is true, if any, but our town is one gigantic burial ground and we have more cemeteries than bible belt Alabama has churches.

I braved the eeriness of the early morning fog on my way to school and swept underneath an Oak tree drooping in the pale green cobwebbed curtains of Spanish moss."

Here's where we're going! In the new version of Pretty in Black, Eleanor lives in Pine Hills, South Carolina! What do you guys think?!

▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪

{ Author commentarty: On Setting }

In a perfect world, I would've gotten all of this right the first time.

But thank goodness it has happened this way instead, imperfectly imperfect, because it wouldn't've been much fun otherwise!

Setting is uber important to a story world, and it only took me about 4 years to finally figure that one out! But man oh man how much different a story will be when the setting changes.

One of the very first things I thought about when rebuilding the Pretty in Black world was the setting. It had to be fabulous or else. In the original version, it doesn't have a setting and everything takes place in a vague space. That definitely had to change. I hadn't given it much thought before, but this time, I searched everywhere for a great location in which this story world could emerge. It wasn't until I'd searched everywhere that I finally decided to look into my own backyard.

It's so strange how sometimes as artists we can overlook our own personal life influences, which sometimes, strangely enough, is the very thing needed to bring a project alive.

I grew up in the south and I'd been to Savannah, GA and South Carolina on many occasions. Why hadn't I realized how perfect this was as a setting before?? It's absolutely stunning.

Especially the Spanish moss and how it looks eerie all the time, the many and many graveyards, and the wonderful gothic architectural structures. It had everything perfect for this story world.

I wasn't sure what town in SC to set the story, and after some research, I decided it would be best to create a fictional town. This would give me the freedom to build it in the best way to suit my already existing story and it would also allow me to incorporate the existing story elements without having to alter too many details.

So I sat down, figured out where this town would most logically be, and drew it on the map I'd printed out.

But even this had a lot of kismet going on because incidentally, my fictional town if it existed would only be an hour drive away from Charleston, which incidentally is connected to some intriguing Edgar Allan Poe lore which I included in the new version of this book! And I'm saving that story for an upcoming post :)

Stay tuned.