Sometimes the timing of a topic is just too perfect. FICTIONAL REAL ESTATE you say? What a coincidence.
A couple of weeks ago I got a query from a blogger for the Eichler Network. (Yes, Eichler owners are networked.) He'd heard that the protagonist in my Miniature Mysteries, Gerry Porter, lived in an Eichler, and would I be willing to do an interview on how, why, etc. Eichler? Of course I would.
The phone interview with blogger David Weinstein resulted in this fun blog where all the questions are answered.
Briefly: When I planned the series based on a miniaturist who builds dollhouses, I thought she should have an architect for a husband, and she should live in a special kind of house. My good friend, author Margaret Hamilton, had just moved into an Eichler home a couple of miles from me. Perfect!
If you've never seen an Eichler, you're in for a treat. The floor plan is built around this model, with variations, but the main feature is an atrium with plants of your choice and a skylight that can be rolled back to the open sky.
It's important to me as I write to know where and how characters can move around, and I always keep "maps" handy. Even when a character goes to a restaurant or stops at a convenience store, I make a quick sketch so I'll understand the space she's in. It also helps with consistency so the windows will be on the same side of the kitchen in Chapter 23 as they were in Chapter 1. Some of us need these aids!
The 9 Miniature Mysteries