Where in the World Is Morelville?

Ficticious Village of Morelville, OH

Map of the Fictitious Village of Morelville, OH

My spouse grew up on a farm just outside a tiny, unincorporated Ohio village. Her grandparents had a home in the village. That’s where her mother grew up and where she spent a lot of time growing up herself. After we met, she lived with me in the Columbus metro area for several years but just over a year ago we bought a house in this little town and moved here. I  based much of the local color in my book Relic on this little slice of heaven.

No, this village isn’t called ‘Morelville’. Morelville doesn’t actually exist. It’s a figment of my imagination that’s been set down in an area that I’m also quite familiar with a ways away from here. For the sake of  better story settings, it’s fictitiously set in Muskingum County Ohio near the Blue Rock State Park and State Forest southeast of the small Ohio city of Zanesville and just east of the Muskingum River town of Philo, Ohio.

Around the village I actually live in, mushroom hunting for Morel mushrooms is a popular sport in the spring. The name ‘Morelville’ stems – pun intended – from the mushroom collecting hobby so many around here enjoy. That and a lot of the other activities depicted in book one and that will be depicted in book two are common throughout this area of Eastern Ohio in the foothills of Appalachia. Rodeos? We’ve got them. Hunting, quad riding, motocross, bee keeping, moonshining, oil drilling? Check! All done around here and much, much more. Amish? Yeah, they exist in a 5-7 county area en masse very near Muskingum county. Are they actually in the county? Not many but there are a few. I’ve extended their reach just a bit to add a little more local color. They played minor roles in book one. They’ll be a little more prominent in book three.

A lot of book two takes place in the limits of the city of Zanesville rather than in the village of Morelville. For the second installment, I use a lot of real city locations mixed with a few that are made up. The Hive restaurant, for example, really does not exist but the ‘Y’ bridge most certainly does as does Genesis Hospital, the Delong funeral Home (though its name is longer) and several other places. The Blue Rock State Forest also exists and there are oil drilling rigs all over eastern Ohio but the farms and rigs I say are near there are made up. If there are real farms and rigs in the area, it’s pure coincidence.

It’s fun to me to make up places for the action of my stories to take place but I do think that it’s important to give my readers some frame of reference that’s realistic.


About Anne Hagan

I'm an East Central Ohio based government employee by day and a fiction author by night. I specialize in mystery fiction featuring lesbian sleuths and cozy fiction featuring women sleuths. I also dabble in romance especially romantic lesfic. I live with my wife and our dogs in a tiny town that’s even smaller than the Morelville of my first fiction series and we wouldn't have it any other way. My wife grew up here and she has always called this little village home. Though it’s an ultra-conservative rural community, we're surrounded here by family, longtime friends and many other wonderful people with open hearts and minds. My wife and I are the co-owners of a commercial haunted house: Hagan's House of Horrors. Much as my dream has always been to write fiction, hers has been to create it through the medium of horror. We went full commercial in 2015. Watch us as we grow!
This entry was posted in On Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Where in the World Is Morelville?

  1. Pingback: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Morelville Mysteries | Anne Hagan

  2. Pingback: The Morelville Mysteries Quick Guide | Anne Hagan


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s