As a lot of you know, I grew up in the “real” Carthage, Illinois, the same small mid-western town where Small Things and Thread were set, albeit (mostly!) without murderous little monsters and other magical beings.
It was a blast driving around town with my 12-year-old son pointing out where certain events took place in the novel. “Look, that’s where Tanner drowned at the start of the novel!” “Look, that’s the old house that the old house in Small Things was based on!” “Look, that’s where the Tastee Freez used to be, where Shawn and Jenny had their first date!” “Look, that’s where Sheriff Fred Ruskin built his restaurant in Threads, and that’s where his first wife and child are buried!”
Seeing family and friends was the best part of the trip, of course, but it was super fun visiting Carthage and visiting the locations that inspired the novels!