Most of my books have been set in or around my hometown, Erie, PA. Now, you wouldn't think I'd need to world-build in a real city and I certainly didn't put that name to it when I started, but looking back, I realized that's exactly what I did. I wrote a series of books for Silhouette Romance that were set in Erie's very real Perry Square. BUT I sort of usurped the Square and added my own businesses (Snips and Snaps Beauty Salon, Titles Bookstore & Monarchs Coffee house—owned by Erie's own royalty no less) to it. I populated the Square with all my fictional people. Basically, I took reality and bent it to my fiction.
Since then I've actually world built a number of small towns that surround Erie proper. Towns like Whedon, PA (for the locals, think Edinboro), Valley Ridge, NY (set between the very real North East and equally real Ripley, NY) and this week, I'm starting a new town...Cupid Falls, PA. It's right outside of Erie (locals, think Waterford-ish).
As I write the opening of the book, I'm adding in a cast of
secondary characters, like Jenny whose scumbag ex walked out on her and three kids. I'm adding in businesses, like The Cupboard Restaurant. It moved into Terri McQueen's Cupboard General Store. The built on a kitchen addition, but kept as many of the historic feature in the dining room as they could. You can look at the shelves, and buy local crafts, from quilts to baskets (yeah, I worked in the baskets).
It might not be science fiction, but I'm hoping that by the time I'm done 'building' Cupid Falls, readers will feel as if they've been there.
So, that's my week...I'm world building. You can find out what books belong to which of my 'worlds' at my Book Series page, where they're in order.
Do you have any favorite fictional towns that you've enjoyed visiting in the past?