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Behind the Writing, Part II: Lord of Columbia’s Landscape

A Real-Life Little Village with a Fantasy Landscape Called Wintersville, Ohio

As mentioned in the previous article, Lord of Columbia is a fantasy-based series but the people, places, and even events scream real-life. Today, I want to talk about a village called Wintersville, Ohio, which is based on the town that appears as my primary setting for the work.

 
Wintersville, Ohio is the home to some of my extended family. Some of my very first memories consist of me spending nights at my grandparents back when my family lived in Canton for a few years. This was around the time of the O.J. Simpson trial, the first big-time event I remember.

 

A Landscape Solace

Surrounding Wintersville is the rolling countryside, a raging river, a small airpark, and if one climbs to the highest bleacher at Kettlewell Stadium, wilderness as far as the eye can see, dotted with farms, huge houses, and the occasional oil rig. It’s a little village of roughly three-thousand, five-hundred people, consisting of Main Street with a few backstreets branching off, and nothing else.

 
So, I figured to myself, it’s the greatest place in the world to set the stage of my own work, because in a way, it’s, well, my solace. Keep ‘the solace aspect’ in mind if you decide to read my work, as it serves a similar purpose for a few influential characters.

 

A Nod to the North

In Lord of Columbia, I named the town Richfield, North Columbia as a nod to Richfield, Ohio, where the Cleveland Cavaliers once played their home games. The name of the university residing in Richfield (just to clarify, the nearest university to Wintersville is Franciscan, which is located in Steubenville, so this landmark I’m about to reveal is entirely fictional) is Summit University, and Richfield, Ohio happens to be located in Summit County.

 

The ‘Why’

Anyway, back to Wintersville.

 
Why did I choose Wintersville?

 
Several reasons.

 
1. There’s a specific landmark in the town I mention often in Lord of Columbia, where both myself and my main character, Cain, find calmness.

 
2. As mentioned in the sub-title, Wintersville has a fantasy landscape, especially if one is looking to the southwest and beyond the horizon. The view is quite breathtaking, especially during a season-change.

 
3. It’s always had the homey-feeling to me, as it does for my main characters, as previously mentioned.

 
4. Since I’m quite familiar with the landscape, I thought it’d be easy to describe without taking away from the characters or the plot. As a minimalist, I like familiar landscapes so they don’t overtake my plot or characters, as I drive my work mainly through action.

 
5. It’s a small town with big-hearted people, and it deserves a little bit of recognition. As mentioned before, I don’t expect Lord of Columbia to be a bestseller or even garner me a primary income, but I do think it will sell due to the amount of homework I’ve put in.

 
So, there you have it. A few reasons why I decided to give Wintersville, Ohio some recognition, starring in the work as Richfield, North Columbia. If there’s one thing I’m really excited about, it’s putting Wintersville front and center and letting it play the landscape.

 
I’d like to thank all of my readers for their continued readership, please come back soon.

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