That’s what I like to call it. Our state has a lot to offer people who like variety—the mountains to our west, the beaches to our east, the Chesapeake Bay, nearby Baltimore and Washington, D.C., theme parks and casinos, pretty state parks and delicious Maryland crabs, the picturesque and historic capital city of Annapolis, and numerous quaint, tucked away towns and cities with charms all their own.
I’ve lived in Maryland since I was five. I grew up in Bowie and Annapolis. I went to college in Towson at Towson University. Along with my husband and children, we’ve lived in Baltimore City, Ellicott City, and Severna Park. I worked for the Baltimore Orioles for a total of 13 years, and I’m currently a professor at Stevenson University in Owings Mills.
And did I mention that I’m madly in love with living near the water?
Maryland is magical—and it’s why I enjoy featuring it in my fiction writing. In fact, people have told me that Annapolis is like another main character in Beneath the Mimosa Tree, much like New York City was the fifth character in Sex and the City. I love that. Being able to put people directly into a setting helps make the books more realistic, and it helps readers to be able to picture their characters walking the streets or attending an event at a notable locale.
And while Annapolis is the setting of my first novel, my third novel, Inn Significant, is set almost entirely on the Eastern Shore, with its start in Washington, D.C. The main character, Milly, has learned the devastating news that her husband and soulmate has been killed in a car accident. After struggling to move on from his death, her parents ask her to come to the beautiful Eastern Shore—to the town of Oxford—to run their inn while they head to Ireland for a spell. She reluctantly agrees, and her life begins to change in that setting and among the people she meets in that tight-knit town. Luckily for me, I got to spend time researching Oxford, and enjoyed days there with my mother and then with my friend, Elizabeth.
My second novel, Baseball Girl, which is loosely based on my life working in professional baseball for the Baltimore Orioles, is set in a fictitious town called Bay City, although most people who know me personally realize it’s modeled after Baltimore and its great harbor. That book was particularly fun to write because I pulled so many true stories from my working days and disguised them by not naming names and allowing my characters to have some fun among the pages. Plus, I enjoyed crafting the baseball quotes that began each chapter, trying to relate baseballisms and worldly knowledge to real life.
My current collection of short stories, which will be available in the next week or two, includes many stories set in Maryland. One takes place in St. Michaels, one begins in Baltimore, and many other local influences will be noticeable if you are familiar with our pretty magical state.
I was thrilled that @ellensmithwrites asked me to be a part of this #bloghopdc, and am passionate about sharing writing tips, stories, and promoting other authors who do as I do—tell stories that move us in some way—through both my published books and through my blog, Steph’s Scribe (stephsscribe.com).
It’s been a pleasure “chatting” with you through this medium, and I hope you’ll connect with me at Steph’s Scribe, where I will soon make the announcement that The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry is available for purchase on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.
Happy summer reading, writing, and blogging, everyone!
Thanks for reading! To return to the #ReadLocalDC Blog Hop on Ellen Smith’s website, click here: http://bit.ly/readlocaldc