Inspiration for THE PROTECTOR:
Two springs ago, while vacationing in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Massanutten Resort, a timeshare salesman named Stephen Winegard ignored the necessity of selling me a timeshare and, instead, showed me all around his hometown of Elkton, Virginia, where THE PROTECTOR takes place. Here are photos of places that inspired my story. Thank you, Stephen!
|Here’s what the beautiful Blue Ridge looks like in springtime when the leaves are just beginning to unfurl.||This is the Dollar General store where Eryn is forced to buy clothing for herself—clearly an unaccustomed task for her.|
|Here’s the Food Lion where Eryn and Ike buy groceries. Ike suffers the certainty that they are being watched. The FBI’s mobile command center is hiding behind a line of Bradford pears at the bank across the parking lot.||Here’s a look at a real FBI Mobile Command Center. The one in my book is unmarked.|
|The trail Eryn is forced to run on at the crack of dawn. It’s a miracle she didn’t twist an ankle!||
This is town Hall in Elkton. The police station really is in the basement!
|There really is an Overlook Mountain||The driveway to Ike’s cabin is like this, only steeper.|
|Ike’s cabin is like this one, only more run-down.||Imagine going across this on a zipline?|
|View from the boulder on Overlook Mountain. That’s not Ike, but he’ll do. (Husband, Alan, posing).||Dwayne’s trailer is just on the other side of Naked Creek.|
|This is Cross Keys Vineyards, inspiration for Naked Creek Vineyards||This is where my FBI agents hang out while trying to frame Ike.|
|This did not inspire anything in me but disgust. Look closer. These are cats chained up to little shelters. Yes, I said chained. What the heck? My guess is they are used for cat fights? There’s a cock farm right up the road…|