Favorite Sons is set in Crystalton, Ohio, the fictional, thinly veiled version of my hometown of Brilliant, Ohio.
So, why didn’t I just use Brilliant as the setting for Favorite Sons?
There are several reasons. One, when I started writing I planned to make all the towns fictional. However, I found that I could create more life in the scenes by depicting the Valley and Steubenville as real places.
However, that didn’t apply to Crystalton. I needed to make adjustments to the landscape to tell the story. For example, when Jack Vukovich is arrested, the boys are playing basketball at the Lincoln Elementary School, which in Brilliant was set in a residential neighborhood on Second Street. However, I needed to have it in the middle of town. If you were to set Crystalton inside a map of Brilliant, visualize the school on the west side of Third Street, between Ohio and Isabelle – the block north of the post office.
Also, by creating Crystalton I could create characters that were unique to Crystalton, not Brilliant.
Will Brilliant, Ohio, someday appear in a novel? I hope so.