A WRITER from the USA has written a novel about a woman's search for her drug addict brother set in the fictional town of Billicombe, which was inspired by Ilfracombe.
Beyond Billicombe was written by Sherry Chiger, a Connecticut resident, while she lived in Barnstaple.
In the book, available in paperbook and as an e-book from Amazon, young actress Suzanne travels from Hollywood to Billicombe, a fictional town based on Ilfracombe, to find her older brother, who had been living there prior to disappearing six months earlier. Her search also takes her to the nearby market town of Boutport, a fictionalised version of Barnstaple.
Ilfracombe High Street and seafront and Barnstaple Pannier Market are among the local sites that make an appearance in the novel, albeit under different names.
"I didn't want to be beholden to render the towns with 100 per cent accuracy, so I changed the names," said Sherry.
"This way I could take literary licence while still capturing the unique spirit of the area."
Sherry moved to Barnstaple in 2007 for work. "I fell in love with North Devon the second I arrived," she said.
"When I had to return to the States three years later, I felt as if I were being exiled. Given the opportunity, I'd move back in a nanosecond."
And the local link doesn't end there, as Barnstaple based designer Tim Munnelly (timtimdesign.com), created the jacket cover.