I was born and raised in Central Florida. I no longer live there, but my stories take place in the dark and spooky corners I remember from childhood. I may travel to many places, but my imagination seems trapped in the Sunshine State.
Lake Belle is loosely based on Winter Haven. As my high school alma matter went, “Centered among a hundred lakes/Home of the blue and gold…” Lakes filled the landscape almost everywhere you looked. Most people lived in walking distance of a lake. That’s not to say everyone had access to the lake or that you’d even want to swim in the water (snakes, gators, bacteria), but on the way to anywhere, at some point you were going to see water. We lived on a lake, so I looked out my front door to water every day.
It is one of the few things I miss.
I remember punk trees, Cypress trees, and Spanish moss; alligators, snakes, and shiny spiders; orange groves, golf courses, and mobile home parks. My dad told me Indians lived across the lake and a witch lived down the road. He convinced me that Santa’s elves spied from hot air balloons and an alligator would make a great pet.
I remember our dog being shot, an 8th grade classmate was murdered, and a man who appeared at my bedroom window while I was sleeping. There a reason Dexter was set in Florida, you know.
You can learn a bit more about Florida history here, here, and here. Remember, Florida has a lot more than Disney and Miami.
Thank you for visiting.