At the beginning of “Ms. Dee Ann Meets Murder,” my protagonist, her husband, and their baby daughter are on the way to Narrow Creek where they will live in an upstairs apartment in the backyard of their landlords, the Vaughans.
Although I cannot stress enough the fact that I am not Dee Ann Bulluck, the main character in my novel, I did use an upstairs apartment my husband and I lived in during the first years of our marriage as a model for my description of the Bulluck’s home.
At least, I thought I was describing the place I lived in close to forty years ago. Recently I happened upon a photo of this apartment in our first daughter’s baby book. (Note: She is not Baby Heather either.)
Dee Ann describes her new home as being a two-story brick building She mentions an “ordinary front door and a tiny, unadorned stoop.” The structure has simple four-pane windows, “two on the second floor aligned over two on the first.” The Bulluck’s apartment is upstairs.
I got part of the description right. In the photo, I do see an ordinary front door and a tiny stoop. I didn’t remember the large, multi-paned downstairs window on the right, however, but then we lived upstairs (like the Bullucks), so I never looked out this window.
Funny how fuzzy our memories can become. I honestly don’t recall that covered walkway leading from the apartment building all the way (maybe ?) to our landlords’ house.
The landlords’ house—in reality a spacious brick ranch—becomes in my novel a “stately red-brick colonial-style house complete with third-floor dormers.” Something like this.
Awed by her first glimpse of the Vaughan’s residence, Dee Ann comments, “I have always loved anything Williamsburg.”