I’m still working on edits for my upcoming novel, I’m also plotting my next WIP which is set in some of the same places. So, while my actual location might be suburban Missouri, my mind’s location is the fictional towns of Heartland & Lilac Grove, Iowa.
I was born in Iowa and most of my family still lives there, so it’s a pretty familiar place to me. Still, I used some pictorial inspiration when I was creating these places.
Heartland is a university town and a river town. There are a lot of small old towns in Iowa, and for me even the run down ones hold a certain visual charm. This picture was actually taken in Springfield, Illinois, but it was the inspiration for my heroine’s office/home. I love the brick fronts that line old towns.
Lilac Grove is the hero’s hometown, and a place I have set a lot of my novels. Lilac Grove is a small farming community. If you drive through Iowa, there are a ton of them, and many have these kinds of water towers. This picture was taken in my grandparent’s small town.
This picture was taken outside the farmhouse my grandpa grew up in. Though the farmhouse is no longer habitable, Grandpa still loves to go out there and putter around. It’s a beautiful place, and you can imagine what it was like in its prime. This farmhouse is definitely the inspiration for the Kapshaw farmhouse in my Kapshaw novels.
There are many other images in my mind from many, many trips to visit family that inspired these two fictional towns. I write small town romance because places like this inspire me. I always find myself wondering who might live in these small towns, abandoned houses, and that’s where many of my stories have stemmed from.