August 14, 2011

The Old North State--North Carolina with Catherine Yee

            Whether you travel to the Outer Banks or through the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains and anywhere in between you will find great beauty in North Carolina.  This state’s citizens take pride in their surroundings.  The yards are mowed.  Gardens are everywhere, even if it is only a small patch where wildflowers are protected.  Even the ancient barns and buildings that may be falling down look charming with a hint of times gone by.  But the real beauty of this state is its natural resources, the Smoky Mountains, Brevard County with its waterfalls, the northern mountains with great mineral and gem wealth.  Heading east toward the coast you cross the foothills and the Piedmont with orchards, vineyards, farms and ranches.  All along the way you find small towns with their own charming identities.   And then you reach the Carolina coastline!  From the Outer Banks all the way down to South Carolina you have beautiful beaches, beach towns, lighthouses and an abundance of pirate lore. 
            We mustn’t forget another resource -- the great food this state produces.  We have barbecue from one end of the state to the other.  These folks know how to cook, and what they do with a hog is legendary.  We decided to retire to Lexington, NC, which considers itself the barbeque capital of North Carolina.  Pass by any barbecue place and the smell of hickory fills the air.  Now, if you’re looking for Texas style sauce, forget it.  The people of North Carolina have their own styles of sauce and their own coleslaw.  Another favorite of mine is the she crab soup.  It’s a delicious cross between bisque and chowder and filled with blue crab meat.
For things to do and see, there is Spencer, NC, just a few miles to the south of Lexington which is a train town and houses the North Carolina Transportation museum.  Read the history of the little town here    We have one of the world’s premier zoos in Asheboro, and some of the state’s finest potteries south of Asheboro in Seagrove,  If you like golf, this state has plenty of that for example Pinehurst, NC  It was the first organized golf coast in the United States and was established in 1898.  Pinehurst has a rich golfing history.  For the music lover, the state boasts Brevard and its summer music festivals which host some of the finest musicians but the core music of the mountains is blue grass and folk music brought by the ancestors from Ireland and Scotland.  Good music is found all across this state.
The greatest resource in this state is most definitely its people.  Southern hospitality abounds here.  Even in the grimmest of economic times the people find a way to smile.  People look out for one another.
            Is Lexington a good place to write?  Most definitely!  I conceived the idea for my book, Battered Wings, here and am now working on a spy novel. 

          BATTERED WINGS by Catherine Yee

A single act of violence causes a once loving marriage forged in the furnace of WWII to be almost torn apart in the fiery hell of the Vietnam era. Three-star General Leland Thornton, retired, suffers a severe personality change from an old war wound that causes him to assault his wife of 25 years, sending her to the hospital and landing him in jail. Now they both must work to rebuild the love they once shared and face ghosts from their past. Along the way one of their grown children fights to survive the war-torn skies of ‘Nam.

As a Veteran, Catherine has the experience to write a story based on true feelings.  She also loves living in North Carolina.  Out her back door, she’s got her own fishing hole situated on Swearing Creek which is located off High Rock Lake. Please stop by her website to learn more.


  1. Much to see and love in North Carolina. Thanks for reminding us of good times there.

  2. I can't beat Southern food and hospitality! Thanks for sharing the photos and links for your state. They bring back many memories of vacations to the beautiful Carolina coast! Good luck with your new book!

  3. What a lovely place to live! Have always wanted to visit the Outer Banks. thanks for the great info!

  4. Thanks for such a wonderful post about my home state of North Carolina! Yes, we have feuds about eastern and western barbecue, but on friendliest of terms. Our state is beautiful from the mountains to the sea and I've had the pleasure of living in both. I'm inspired by so many of the lovely scenes mentioned in this post. All four of my mysteries are set in North Carolina, and I'm working on a fifth. I enjoy packing and heading out on "research" trips with friends or hubby. It's no wonder so many writers call North Carolina home. Thanks, y'all!

  5. North Carolina does seem to have everything, the coast, food and great people. You must love it there. Thanks for letting us know.

  6. Catherine--NC certainly is a gorgeous state--if I had to move somewhere--I think I'd choose NC. The mountains are truly wonderful--I really prefer those to the Rockies--I love the rounded tops--a little more soothing than the rugged mountains of the west.
    (I'm a Whiskey Creek author, too.

  7. I like calling North Carolina home, too. You are right on about the barbequed pork and the coleslaw--absolutely delicious.
    Brevard is also the home of the Brevard school of music which rivals Juliard. I used that little factoid in one of my stories.
    I love all the little towns that are so beautiful and caught in time. Wilmington is one of my favorites.
    I wish you every success with your books, Catherine.

  8. Thank you for the tour of your lovely state. I've driven through many times, but I spent a week in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville and enjoyed every moment. The scenery is beautiful and the crafts and antiques are well worth the trip. You forgot to tell everyone that NC has one of the finest medical centers in the country at Duke University.

  9. Just the name Smoky Mountains has always intrigued me! Food sounds wonderful! So does your book.

  10. North Carolina is a beautiful state. I love the Outer Banks. Thanks so much
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  11. Thanks everyone for your comments. There is so much to see and do here that I didn't know what to put in or what to leave out. What a delicious dilemma.

    Kathy Lawrence
    (Catherine Yee)


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