"Fictional" Geography 101
Do the locations mentioned in What's Left of My World really exist?
Is the book geographically sound?
Good question. And fortunately enough for me, it's an easy one to answer. A good writer writes what they know. For me, it was easy writing about the location(s) mentioned in my book(s) because I've spent a lot of time in those places. I've camped in and around there, and hiked almost all of the trails in the area. Personally, I sometimes enjoy just taking a drive through.
So for starters, here's a map.
So yes. Perry, West Virginia is a real place. There really is a Trout Run, a Trout Run Road, and even a Trout Run Valley.
It starts out looking like this (north, heading south)
There's even a Rudolph Lane (no relation that I'm aware of)
It's nestled in between Hardy County, West Virginia and Shenandoah County, Virginia, and almost completely surrounded by the Lee Ranger District of the George Washington National Forest.
If it feels like the mountains are getting closer, it's because they are.
And before you know it, you're in the National Forest.
This is the bridge over Trout Run that I consider the "northern boundary" of my fictional community.
Here's a view to the east.
And to the west.
Wonder who lives here? Could it be the The Perrys? The Saunders? The Bradys?
There's lots of scenery.
A look at Great North Mountain to the east. See that little pointy thing in the middle? That's Big Schloss. Lauren's favorite place in the world to hike.
But what about St. James Church?
It's actually Mt. Vernon Church.
But it's there.
And the old defunct animal petting zoo? Yep. It exists as well.
Here's the bridge over Trout Run at the southern end of the valley. From here you'll head uphill to Wolf Gap.
And yes, Wolf Gap is a real place as well.
Here's another image of Big Schloss.
And another. Majestic, isn't it?
Welcome to the community of Trout Run Valley. While driving through today, I'm pretty sure the electricity was still on. :)
But who knows what the future holds for any of us.