Creating a Setting for A Frost Family Christmas
With the power of the internet, an author can now travel the world looking for a story setting without ever leaving her desk. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good idea to visit that setting in person if the opportunity presents itself. Carol Falls may be a figment of our imagination but we had to make it real for our readers. How did we do that?
In September 2014, Roxy Boroughs and I made a 10-day journey to the part of Vermont where The FROST FAMILY & FRIENDS SERIES takes place, and steeped ourselves in the people, the countryside and the tiny details that can make a setting come alive for our readers. There were so many things Roxy and I wanted to see while we were in Vermont but the starting points had to be a maple sugar farm and, of course, a red covered bridge.
Typical Vermont Maple Farms
The focal point for the entire series is the FROST MAPLE SYRUP FARM so we were thrilled to visit the MORRIS FARM SUGARWORKS. With their 200 years of family tradition in the maple syrup business, they were the best place to learn everything we needed to know. Who knew they’d be graded on color and taste – just like fine wines!
Iconic Vermont Covered Bridges
I put this iconic image on the cover of my book, The Holly & The Ivy even before I’d seen one. When I saw the real thing, I could see why Vermont is so proud of these wonderful structures. They come in all sizes and shapes – Stowe has a small one – but the most beautiful one we saw was in QUECHEE FALLS.
A Town called Carol Falls
Carol Falls, Vermont is an imaginary town created for the FROST FAMILY & FRIENDS SERIES. We situated Carol Falls just off Highway 89. It’s located near Waterbury, as you drive north up the highway to Stowe, but it most closely resembles St. Albans in terms of its historic feel, the central location of the ‘Village Green’, and the overall style of the Main Square. Many of the shops and other setting details used in the stories are inspired by the quaint towns and village found throughout this area of the state.
Roxy Boroughs and I drove through the part of Vermont where we imagined Carol Falls to be. Look what we discovered as we drove through the area of Vermont around our imaginary town. We found lots of inspiration in the many small rural towns around the State capital, Montpelier, to Stowe area as we drove through like Jeffersonville, Waterbury, Jericho, Johnson, Morrisville, Cambridge…. But on the way back to the Canadian border, we drove into St. Albans and I thought, ‘This is it – Carol Falls!’ The downtown looked just as I imagined Carol Falls in my mind’s eye. Right down to the Village Green right off one end of the main square and a coffee shop that could easily have been Kate’s kitchen with the travel knickknacks.
Once you pass through the covered bridge into the town itself, the first thing you see is the Lincoln Village Green.
Everyone loves Vermont
People continue to enjoy THE HOLLY & THE IVY year after year! That says to me that our efforts to find just the right setting for Carol Falls and meeting the real ‘characters’ in that part of Vermont was well worth our time and effort. Thank you so much to all those who spoke to us and shared their lovely State with us on our journey.
THE HOLLY & THE IVY and A FROST FAMILY CHRISTMAS series is going strong. It’s so exciting to know that readers are enjoying the Frost family and all the romance and intrigue going on in Carol Falls this holiday season.
If you want to spend more time in Carol Falls, there are additional books in the series that you might enjoy.