|One of the squares in the historic district in Savannah, GA|
Because there are few other places like it, and if I ever become a famous writer... well, that's where I'd go and live.
|So much Savannah in the first novel. Why Savannah?|
One of the stories from my book is based on a real adventure there during that time--Chief Ray Billings tells the story about taking a knife from a drunk guy who'd gone nuts outside on the sidewalk in front of one of the clubs on a Saturday night. Quick as a flash, he grabbed the man's wrist with one hand and punched him out cold with the other. That really happened. One of the most impressive things I'd seen up to that point. It stuck with me, and more than twenty-five years later, it just seems like something the character Ray Billings would do.
|Todd Creason and John Albert in the belly of the H.L. Hunley (replica) circa 2004|
That few days turned into a week. We visited Fort Pulaski, Tybee Island, Bonaventure Cemetery, and took a day trip up to Charleston, South Carolina and amongst other things, saw the Civil War submarine the H. L. Hunley. We ate in a different restaurant for every meal at some fantastic restaurants--including Lady & Sons. I don't think we ate a single meal "in" that entire week. Just about every place Levi or Ray Billings mention in my novels are places I visited during that week in Savannah. In fact, I sat on the same bench Levi Garvey sat on when he decided to return home to Twin Rivers after more than twenty years--it marks Johnny Mercer's grave.
|Johnny Mercer's grave at Bonaventure Cemetery|
People always wonder where writers get their ideas. I guess for me, it comes from a lot of places, but most often, it comes from people, from places, and from events that for whatever reason have left a last impression. Savannah is one of those magical places for me. I'm looking forward to another trip there one day.
Todd E. Creason is an author and novelist whose work includes the award-winning non-fiction historical series Famous American Freemasons and the novels One Last Shot (2011) and A Shot After Midnight (2012). He's currently working on the third novel Shot to Hell which will be released in Spring 2014.