During my recent trip to Germany, I discovered, quite accidentally, the town that I think will become my template for the village of Burlau.
For anyone who may not yet know, members of the German aristocracy generally had surnames that reflected the towns or areas over which they ‘ruled’, so to speak. The German word ‘von’ (meaning ‘of’ or ‘from’) was generally used as a nobility particle and preceded the town’s name to complete the family’s surname. So the title of my newest story, Born von Burlau, refers both to being born into the family of von Burlau as well as being born from the village of Burlau. I have always known that the village would be as essential to the story as the family itself.
While Burlau is a fictitious place, I imagine its topography to be very similar to that of the village of Lauscha, in the state of Thuringia, Germany. It is a town that seems designed by nature as a fortress and a haven. The roads curve upwards and disappear into banks of fog. The hills encircle the village and provide a network of caves and crevices, perfect for a private tryst or as a stop on a flight to freedom.
I imagine Schloss von Burlau perched atop the tallest of those hills, looking down on the valley below. Is it any wonder the family would die to protect their home?
To see more of the beautiful village of Lauscha, please visit my photography page:
I have also added the next chapter of The Aldana Incident. Follow the story here:
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