Writing about a particular place can be a labor of love for some authors, giving them a chance to share their favorite towns and hangouts with others. Think of Charles Dickens and London. Or Anne Rice and New Orleans. Garrison Keillor and rural Minnesota.
While our February Author Spotlight Tori L. Ridgewood sets her new romance series in the fictional town of Talbot, the small town is actually based on Ridgewood’s hometown of Cobalt in Central Canada. The places in her novels exist but the actual names have been changed to protect the innocent. Cobalt is a small town after all, and Ridgewood is known for her steamy romance stories.
Placing Literature is giving Ridgewood the opportunity to connect the fictional Talbot to the real Cobalt, essentially overlaying the maps of the two towns on top of each other where Ridgewood can highlight their similarities and their differences. Think of the places she maps this month as hidden Easter eggs—virtual winks and nudges in the ribs to her fans who will now be able to receive additional context to the settings in her novel.
Ridgewood has deeply inspired by another novel that romanticized another region of Canada, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery. Ridgewood says about the novel:
“Set in beautiful Prince Edward Island, Montgomery’s detailed descriptions of the landscape were informed by her experiences there, and they simply leap off the pages of the story. Creepy spruce forests, romantic laneways created by budding cherry trees, shining ponds and fields full of wildflowers bordered by the red dirt roads unique to the island—Montgomery’s writing painted word pictures for me that have stayed with me since childhood.”
In addition to her first book and prequel in the Talbot series, Ridgewood will be mapping Anne of Green Gables which is set near Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, which is a popular destination for thousands of tourists. Ridgewood was able to visit the island when she was a teenager and walked the paths of her favorite red-haired heroine. She’d like to return again with her husband and children, but the first step is mapping the scenes in Placing Literature.
Follow Tori’s mapping journey here throughout February.