You might be wondering why my novel is set in Charleston, South Carolina. If you’ve read anything on my website, you’ve probably picked up that I’m originally from Kentucky and I currently live in South Georgia, which isn’t exactly near Charleston (about a five hour drive). My first answer? There was just something about the area that seemed like the perfect setting for a mystery/thriller.
Something that South Georgia has in common with Charleston? Spanish Moss. I love Spanish Moss (yeah I know it’s kind of nuisance, but it’s still pretty). There is one street where I live that the oak trees are so heavy with it, that it creates a cave, the moss almost touching the road. That’s my favorite street, because it’s beautiful yet foreboding. Charleston has plenty of Spanish Moss, and that in itself suggested mystery to me, especially for someone like my main character, Casper, who’s not used to seeing it on a regular basis.
Another thing Charleston has in common with South Georgia, is the steamy heat that’s sticky and hangs all over your skin. Yeah, you feel like you are constantly sweating, but I think the heat can also be sultry.
Charleston also has rich history,including many homes and buildings from past centuries and oak trees older than the Civil War. The beautiful plantation homes suggest a different time and place, the marshlands give the illusion of solid ground and the area is steeped in a history of “voodoo”. Adding to the rich landscape is the ocean, which lends it’s beauty and saltiness to the already humid air.
And if that wasn’t enough, it is the hometown to one of the greatest characters in literary history, Rhett Butler.
A little interesting fact about The Kings of Charleston? The short story that it is based on was actually set in New Orleans, another city who has a dark and rich history. Although the story has been reset in Charleston, don’t count New Orleans out. I can promise it will make a reappearance in the story at some point, because as you will find out Kythera has some deep roots imbedded in the coastal lowlands of New Orleans.