In September of 2016, I traveled to Elkins, West Virginia with a half-finished novel. It had no ending and no real sense of place, so I knew a visit was in order. With the help of Russ Collett, then-principal of Elkins High School, I gained a sense not just of the school and the students, but also of the town and people.
A tour of Davis & Elkins College furthered my understanding of my main character’s father, a theater professor at that college. It’s a magical place with mansions of the namesakes, donated to the college decades ago, adding to the grandeur of the academic setting students occupy.
Driving around the airport, which has a high school, technical school, and elementary school nestled in the criss-cross of the runways, I also found a quaint cemetery overlooking one of those runways with a church telling me stories of a fire from its condition.
Above are photos I took of the natural beauty of Elkins. Below are photos I took of some important locations key to my book.