|Lee Falls, in the Sumter National Forest|
My final (I hope) edits for Keowee Valley have been sent back to my editor, who's in the process of going through the novel for small errors and discrepancies. Then it goes to the copyeditor, and then on to the publisher, and then back to me. This summer, I'll be collaborating (though the publisher, of course, has the final say) on cover art. It's a fascinating process, and I continue to be thrilled by it. I can't imagine that this--seeing my novel come to life--would ever get old.
Since Keowee Valley is such a place-based novel, and in my heart I am very much a Southern writer (and we're obsessed with place) I thought I'd add another page to my website, dealing with images from the novel. Here, I've included photos of places and things important to the story. And while the places in the photos may not look exactly as they did 244 years ago, I hope it'll give readers a sense of the journey my protagonist, Quinn, took--into a gorgeous, dangerous, and wild new land.
The setting of Keowee Valley certainly inspired the story. Though the novel moves from colonial Charleston, South Carolina, into the South and North Carolina mountain frontier, and into the deepest reaches of the Cherokee country (present-day Tennessee) and back, the main setting of the novel is a place I dearly love: Oconee County, South Carolina. Today, this part of the Upcountry of South Carolina is dotted with recreational lakes, which were incredibly gorgeous and biodiversely rich river valleys and natural gorges flooded in the mid-twentieth century.
It's a land I've been fascinated with since I was a small child, filled with Cherokee place names, rushing rivers and creeks, unusual plants and animals, and those haunting blue mountains--and I always wondered about the powerful and mysterious people who claimed it as home, long before I ever got there. So, in many ways, that's where the story started.
I hope the images add something special to the "About the Book" page of my author web site. And I hope you enjoy them!