Friday, April 1, 2011


As a child I loved when books included maps of the story's setting in the endpapers. Come to think of it, I still do. I also love actually seeing the place where a story is set. Even if the story is fictional.

Patrick Brian Miller does too. So much so, that he created a website for the purpose of highlighting the connection between novels and setting. He calls his site the  Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative   (SELTI) and uses each entry to focus on a particular book, the author, and especially the area where the book is set.

When Patrick selects a book to feature on his site, he does what he hopes you will do with that book. He reads it, travels to the place where the story happens and explores! Then he goes home and plots his blog post. His meaty entries include an excerpt from the book, background info, Author Links, and a Tourism Guide with links to all sorts of sightseeing opportunities!

One of the most intriguing things about Patrick is his passion for literary tourism and the fact that he maintains contact with the authors he features. Every so often I get a status update to let me know how many visitors are clicking onto the COMFORT feature he created back in October 2010.  He always gives me an analysis of how visitors are finding the feature and how it compares with other features on SELTI.

Patrick is intrigued with the dynamism that can happen when people make that connection between literature and story and clearly he is has a vision for how technology can make that difference.  A few months ago he released his own novel BLIND FATE on Kindle. 
Blind Fate is the first tourism novel in the world with an interactive travel guide inside the book. It has live links in the book that take readers instantly to the websites of the real tourism places found in the story. You can read an excerpt of Blind Fate here

Email Patrick at and read more about SELTI here.

Also, please browse the SELTI features for online tourism guides to many Southern books.


  1. Interesting! I'm always intrigued by authors who have found new ways to make technology work for them.

  2. Shannon, is your WIP set in the southeast of US? If so, you might want to keep SELTI in mind. Patrick is a great resource!

  3. This is very cool. I think we should find a way to mention it in the newsletter. Perhaps something that teachers can use themselves when they are planning trips over the summer. What do you think? You know me, Talking Story is never too far from my brain!

  4. The four SELTI features best suited for teachers are Comfort, Alabama Moon, Hollywood Visits Monroeville, and Vampires V. Pancakes: Literary Tourism for Kids (from Maggie Valley, NC). All these are young adult books, and I'm always open to more of those (find them in the Facebook SELTI page). Some teachers have already used these as teaching resources, so that is a great direction.