So here's a funny thing.
As I'm sure you know, both of my books, and the majority of short stories I've ever written take place in a town called Littleton.
One of the weirder things about that is that I never say exactly where that is.
That's on purpose. There are actually many different places called Littleton across the United States, and even one in England.
What I do when I write is intentionally blur details of all of them together into a sort of idealized Littleton. I'll pull street names from the one in West Virginia, and the name of a business or park from the one in Colorado. Plus of course the magical bonding glue of just Outright Making Shit Up™.
Well, there's one of these Littletons (Littletonae?) in North Carolina.
And, on a goof, I decided to drive through it on my way home on Sunday. I even stopped in the Hardee's there for a bite to eat on my way.
Pulling into town was decidedly weird and sort of magical.
I kind of knew the place, and kind of didn't. At the Hardee's I asked the cashier if there was a good place to get a picture of the town sign, and we struck up a little conversation about it.
She was downright folksy and countrified, and politely curious. After she told me which way to go, she asked me, "Why are you so interested in that, sugar?"
"Well," I said, "I'll tell you a secret. I'm an author."
"Ohhh," she said, nodding as if she understood.
"And I wrote a book that's kind of all about this town, and kind of not."
"Really?" she asked. "What's the name of your book, honey?"
"Oh I'll tell you," I said, "but you should know, it's erotica, and it's rather a filthy book."
"Now you just have to tell me," she said, grinning.
So I did. Like I said, magical.