The Setting of Black AmaranthWhen writing Black Amaranth, the voice of the story was the most essential task in regards to delivering an emotional and relateable story. When it came to choosing the setting, I was conflicted on two very different types of places I love: the beach and the mountains. So I incorporated both. Living in West Virginia my entire life, of course I'm partial to the mountainous beauty and wanted to find somewhere much like it. Growing up, my mother talked nonstop about her love for North Carolina. She often compared its mountains to WV and swore its beauty rivaled my home state. In 2010, my sister and I embarked on a road trip to see for ourselves how accurate my mother's claim was. We drove through Mitchell County (or more like up through it) and having witnessed for myself that she was indeed not crazy, I decided then to pick Snow Creek, North Carolina (a very small country road in real life) to open the beginning pages of Black Amaranth as a dedication to my mother's love for a state she once lived in and loved nearly as much as her home state. If you decide to travel there (which I highly recommend) driving over the mountain is NOT for those who get car-sick!
Early on in Black Amaranth, the characters race to Brunswick, Georgia. Brunswick and the Golden Isles was truly breathtaking. The area offered giant live oaks covered with Spanish Moss, breathtaking beaches, and all the ambiance one could hope the Deep South would offer. My particular favorite, Driftwood Beach, was selected for the mass of dead live oaks scattered throughout the beach. Below are pictures I took from May 2012 while researching the area.
To the right is the Avenue of Oaks on St. Simon's Island.
Below is a pic of Driftwood Beach located on Jekyll Island, GA. Both barrier islands were gorgeous and I felt, the right area for Black Amaranth to occur!