Something that’s really important to the main character in my novel is her family’s farm in Lexington, Kentucky named Ghost Hill Farms. If there is anything that she truly loves, it is the horses her family is known for.
So why did I pick a horse farm? One, I’m from Kentucky and I think it’s a requirement to like horses (at least a little) or they kick you out. Two, the idea came from a Saturday trip with my good friend Karey while we were still in college.
I wanted something fun to do and decided why not go to downtown Lexington and see what we could get into? We both went to college in Richmond, which was only a short drive from Lexington, so it seemed like a logical trip to make. We really had so much fun, between the Old Kentucky Candy store (which has these amazing bourbon truffles to which my husband has a serious addiction), a cute dress shop and just some other really neat stores.
After spending some time in the shops we decided to drive around for awhile and look at all the pretty neighborhoods. If you’ve never been to Lexington, I highly recommend it, because it’s a laid back town in a beautiful area.
Anyway, we ended up on the side of town near Keeneland Race Track, which is right across from the air port. As we drove by, sitting on the runway was a big private plane (I mean probably the size of a 747) with the flag of the United Arab Emirates on the tail. We thought it was pretty cool and took pictures of it. Later when we got back, we found out that it was the Sheihk of Dubai’s plane and he was in town to buy thoroughbreds at the yearly sales at Keeneland.
For some reason that story stuck in my head and when it came time to write The Kings of Charleston, I thought about that trip and how interconnected horse racing community was with a lot of powerful figures (the Queen of England is also a big racing fan, owning her own thoroughbreds) and the influence that those who own and sale million dollar thoroughbreds could be. It created the perfect back drop for what would happen to Casper and how she ended up in the situation she finds herself in the book.
Besides, I’ve always had a love for horses and I had to bring in a piece of Kentucky to bring in some pieces of me to the story.
Ironically as I was writing this post, I found a video on YouTube of someone watching that same plane taking off from the Bluegrass air port. It’s not the most interesting video, but really neat to see that memory come to life. Here it is if you want to see the plane:
Oh and those amazing bourbon chocolates? They will ship them to your house, at least certain times of the year. Sadly if it’s above 72 degrees they won’t ship the chocolate, but they’ve become a Christmas tradition for our family to have several boxes shipped to South Georgia. Here’s the website: