Creating Imaginary Places

Dec. 11, 2015

     A number of readers have asked me, "Where are Teach Island and Paradise Cove located?" They are products of my imagination. Both Teach Island and Paradise Cove are settings in Thorns or Roses, a Theo of Teach Island book, and Blood Moon, a Zoey Wolfe book.

     A fifth-generation Floridian, I love this state. In the past, given the option of making career moves to other states and a U.S. territory, I turned them all down, in favor of remaining here. Florida is home. It is beautiful, wild, diverse, eclectic, challenging, friendly, exciting, laid-back and yes, it is my favorite place to be -- because it is anything I want it to be.

     To re-create my beloved state, I cut an imaginary slash into the East coast of Florida, just above Canaveral National Seashore, traveling downward to just above Mims, Florida, and stopping at Interstate-95. Spreading the area into a pie-shaped area, I wedged in two new communities.

     Teach Island is named after the legendary pirate, Blackbeard. Teach is a modernization of his last name: Theach. The small town stopped in time, when most of it's male inhabitants, left for World War II. It is a place where life is slower and gentler than in other Florida communities. It still has red-brick paved streets, a product of the Civilian Conservation Corps, laid in the sand during The Great Depression. It has a restaurant/bar and only one small store that also sells fuel. It is small-town Florida from my childhood.

     Connecting to Canaveral National Seashore to the South, it is a lazy, beach community with growth pains. It is bisected by both Brevard and Volusia counties.

     Paradise Cove to the South, is in the Northern-most tip of Brevard County and is a mainland community. It is a resort and spa town, very New Age. It attracts many wealthy vacationers with it's spas and boutiques and is only the Beachline away from Orlando. Interstate-95 takes visitors to and from Miami and the Keys or North to Jacksonville and beyond.

     The areas are linked together by a high-rise causeway at Teach Island, North of Paradise Cove. The on- and off-ramps connect to  U.S. Highway 1 and intersect with A-1-A. Tip: You will have difficulty locating it, if you go looking for it.

     There are places, diverse venues and businesses in Florida named Paradise Cove. They are unrelated to the community my characters inhabit.

     Enjoy my creations.

-- Charlotte Guttenberg