the Heir Chronicles
They say you should write what you know. I don’t entirely
go along with that, since I haven’t known any wizards or sorcerers
in my life (that identified themselves as such.) Yet using places
you’ve been as settings or models for settings in your writing
can enrich it. Below are some places in the Warrior Heir, some fictional,
but based on real places, and some real places.
Cleveland Flats and Warehouse District
Whereas the first three Heir books were set in Trinity, OH, a fictional Midwestern college town, the New Heir Chronicles are true urban fantasies—contemporary stories set in downtown Cleveland.
Much of the action in the New Heir Chronicles takes place in two Cleveland neighborhoods. The industrial Flats is a gritty district of steel mills, factories, and maritime businesses that line the crooked Cuyahoga River all the way to the Lake Erie waterfront.
Located on a bluff overlooking the Flats, the Cleveland Warehouse District has in recent years become a major residential and arts district. Its historic buildings have been converted to loft apartments, condominiums, and offers a vibrant mix of clubs and restaurants. See the following links for more information about the Warehouse District.
Cleveland has played an important role in the history of rock and roll, and continues to host an active live music scene. It is also the Home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and its library and archives.
Magical Cleveland Map
Trinity is a fictional college town, modeled after the
town of Oberlin, Oh, home of Oberlin College. This is a photo
of the Baldwin Women's Collective at the college.
Here is a link to the Oberlin College web site.
I love visiting Oberlin, walking its downtown
streets, shopping in its off-beat stores and eating in the
restaurants there. I’m a handweaver, and I have friends
who offer their work in a gallery there. It seems like a great
place to grow up in.
Here is a link to the Oberlin Chamber of Commerce Web site
with lots of photos.
Oberlin Chamber of Commerce
||Although Oberlin is 12 miles inland I took the liberty of placing Trinity on the
shores of Lake Erie. I’ve always wanted to live on the
water, and these are my books so I can do this.
||And believe it or not there are huge salt mines under Lake Erie. The mines play an inportant role in Dragon Heir, but you'll have to read it to find out what!
Coal Grove, Coalton County, Ohio
My mother was born in southern Ohio, and my ancestors were pioneers in Jackson,
Scioto, Adams, and Pike Counties. They farmed and worked in
coal mines and iron furnaces in that area. My grandfather
was a coal miner for a time, and my uncle was killed in a
The town of Coal Grove is a fictional place, but it is based
on the county seats in those counties in the Appalachian Mountains.
Just like Linda, Jack, and his friends, I
have done genealogical research in the courthouses of those
counties, leafing through Death Book A for my family names
(though always during the daytime, and I never broke into
any.) This is a photo of the Jackson County courthouse.
Here is a link to the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce. http://www.villageprofile.com/ohio/jackson/03his/main.html
||I love to walk around in old cemeteries like this one, Evergreen
Union Cemetery in Pike County, OH. Old Methodist Cemetery in
Warrior Heir is modeled after cemeteries like this where my
ancestors are buried.
St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, London
||St. Margaret’s is where Jack and Linda
take refuge when being chased by Jessamine Longbranch and her
henchmen. It is a real church in Westminster, London, between
Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. It is the parish
church of the House of Commons.
||I am a real Anglophile, and love everything British.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Britain several times,
the first time when I was a college student. When I visited
Westminster Abbey in London, I was fascinated by St. Margaret’s
Church, standing in its shadow, small and perfect. The day we
visited, there was a Maypole dance going on in the churchyard.
Here is a link to the Westminster Abbey web site. Click on the St.
Margaret’s Church link on the left hand side.
Raven’s Ghyll is a fictitious valley in the Lake District
of Northern England, just south of the border with Scotland. When
I was in college, I traveled throughout England on an English literature
tour. We saw Diana Rigg in MacBeth at the Old Vic Theatre in London,
and saw Shakespeare’s birthplace and Ann Hathaway’s
cottage in Stratford. We drove up to the Lake District and visited
Grasmere and stayed at a hotel called the Dungeon Ghyll. Although
the Lake District has too many visitors to really accommodate a
hideaway, wizards can do pretty much anything they want. I never
lost my love for that part of the world.
Here are some photographs of the Lake District, including the Langdale
Pikes and the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, where I stayed years ago. Below
is a link for the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.
This is where Will and Fitch encountered Leesha near the train station.
It’s a historic town near the border with Scotland. It was
once the prison of Mary, Queen of Scots, and was briefly held by
Bonnie Prince Charlie during Scotland’s revolt against British
Here are photos of Carlisle Castle and the Carlisle train station,
and a web site with information about Carlisle.