We’re so pleased to welcome author Nicole Dennis to TNA today, on the tour for her latest release, Treasure Trail, the first novella in Dreamspinner Press’ new States of Love line.
How to Add Enrichment Spots to a Setting
We are here today to talk about Treasure Trail – STATE of Love: Florida. Treasure Trail is part of a special series – State of Love – created by Dreamspinner Press. These will be contemporary romance novellas set in each of the 50 United States to spotlight the unique features and attributes of each state.
I wanted to show more than beaches, theme parks and the Florida Keys and decided to set my story in the oldest city in America – St. Augustine. St. Augustine is rich with history and I hope the story reflects the beauty found within the cobblestone streets. There’s a tavern, pirates, an annual pirate festival, cats, playful friends, and a pair of guys trying to figure out how to talk to each other. In the end, a special treasure hunt sends an enigmatic pirate captain through the streets and shops of St. Augustine, on a quest to answer clues and find bits of everyday ‘treasure’ to learn more about the creator of the map and remove a ‘curse’.
Within the setting of St. Augustine, I wanted to focus in on some of the main areas where I chose to add more depth to the story.
Creating Matey’s Tavern
I cobbled Derrick Keyes’ tavern from a couple of different places found within St. Augustine. The location and main bones of the tavern came from a true place called Mi Casa Café. You can find it here: http://www.micasacafe.com/. A great place with both an indoor and outdoor setting. This is a picture of Mi Casa Café to get an idea:
In order to turn Mi Casa into Matey’s Tavern, I altered all of the decorations to give it that pirate flair. I also added the brewpub accent part where Matey’s brews a few craft beers. A customer can’t purchase the brews anywhere but Matey’s Tavern. It also folds into the idea of Matey’s being part of the Pirate Pub Walking Tour where Derrick sees one of the tour guides, Christopher Easton.
Finding Derrick’s Home
Another obvious place to add detail and enrichment is where a character lives. While I have Christopher living ‘dorm’ style with a bunch of friends, Derrick lives alone. Since leaving home at 18, Derrick worked hard to obtain what he desires to live a full life. He’s had a few stumbles along the way, who hasn’t, but he purchase his home and also owns the tavern.
I like to work with actual homes or floorplans you can find online. Derrick’s home on Pomar Street is actually up for sale on a realtor site within St. Augustine. Pomar Street also exists. You find the home HERE. This is what it looks like:
There wasn’t a floor plan for the home, so I created one of my own and kept to it. I feel you can’t get a sense of a person, how they live or feel if you don’t know their home. It’s their base and comfort.
A Unique Meeting Spot
The final major spot within the story is at the corner of St. Francis Street and St. George Street. This is a convenient corner halfway between Derrick and Christopher’s homes on their way from historical downtown St. Augustine. It’s where you can find the Llambias House Garden and the magical Fernandez-Llambias House, long associated with St. Augustine’s distinctive Minorcan community. Built prior to 1763 with the final work done by 1788, the Llambias has a walled garden in the back known for beautiful old world weddings and the front is a historical park.
You can find a little more information about the Llambias House and the gardens HERE.
The historical park were some interesting things happen within the story and to the characters is here:
I fudged around with the lighting and privacy to give my boys some time for fun. Author leeway.
For writers, remember this: No matter where you place your story, whether it’s a fictional town, a city based in reality, or somewhere deep in space, make it believable to enrich and delight readers. To readers, I hope you enjoy your visit to St. Augustine and hope you plan to make a trip to the see the real thing. There’s nothing like it.
Hugs and dreams.
About the Book
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Series: States of Love
Length: 71 Pages
Release Date: 24 August 2016
Purchase Links: DSP || Amazon || B&N || ARe || Kobo
Blurb: Owner of Matey’s Tavern, a popular brewpub-tavern in St. Augustine, Florida, Derick Keyes loves his adopted hometown and job. He also harbors a crush on a pirate captain.
Tour guide for the popular Pirate Pub Walking Tour, Christopher Easton portrays a pirate captain as he takes visitors on a guided tour of St. Augustine, stopping at certain taverns for a pint of grog and tales of the golden age of piracy. With a little liquid courage, Chris breaks the cycle when he talks to Derick. Things change between them. Derick wants a chance for more with Chris.
During the Annual Pirate Festival, Derick creates a treasure hunt for Chris after “cursing” him. To break the curse, Chris must find four clues before the final battle on Sunday night. Only then can the curse be broken.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
About the Author
A quiet one, Nicole Dennis curled up with the latest book of a favorite author. Since the beginning, there were these characters in her head, worlds wanting to be built on paper, and stories wanting to be told. She began writing during class and continues to this day. Now she can let others into her imagination and worlds that always celebrate the love between two or more people within LGBT, paranormal, and fantasy.
During the day, she works in a quiet office in Central Florida, where she also makes her home, and enjoys the down time to slip into her imagination. She is owned by a semi-demonic tortie calico, affectionately known as Fat Cat.
Contact & Media Info: Facebook || Facebook Page || Facebook Group || Blog || Website || Email || Twitter: @NDennis_Author || Instagram || Pinterest || Tumblr || Goodreads Q&A with Nicole Dennis || Goodreads Profile