April 26, 2010 | By: Tracy

I Want To Visit FORKS, WA

Love Twilight. Hate Twilight. Totally indifferent to Twilight.

It doesn't matter. We've all accepted what a huge phenomenon it has turned into.

Self-confessed Twi-hard, here. I'm not one of the uber obsessive fans, but I won't pretend I didn't wear a Team Jacob t-shirt to the "New Moon" premiere, either. Let me just tell you, I've never received so many compliments on my wardrobe from 14 year olds, in my life!

For those people who HATE the series and ask me to name one good thing that came from it, I have an answer : The survival of a little town named Forks.

Forks, Washington is a real place. Stephenie Meyer (A native Arizonian) was looking for the cloudiest, rainiest place in the continental United States. Google gave her Forks, and thus the setting was made. And Forks needed Twilight, far more than Twilight needed Forks.

As a small logging town that was losing its industry and a community that was struggling to make ends meet, it has greeted the Twilight phenomenon with open arms. Don't believe me? Check out the official population sign proudly displayed in their Chamber of Commerce.

In fact, outside the Chamber of Commerce they have Bella's truck, from the movie version, for visitors to stop and take their picture with.

They have a couple specialty stores just for Twilight merchandise, and tours that travel around the town and showcase places mentioned in the story. The town has completely embraced being the location of the place where Edward & Bella met.

And let's not forget the actual Quileutes (Native American tribe), who werewolf Jacob Black was a member of ... they're feeding into it too, as witness by this sign at the start of their reservation.

(Admittedly, the Pepsi logo detracts from the overall feeling a bit, but advertising...)

I've never been to Forks, WA. And until recently, I never even knew it existed. Now, I'm enough of a grown-up (and on most days I try to be a realist), I know the story is pure fiction. I don't really believe there are vampires running around in Forks, or werewolves out on the reservation.

But as a writer -- one who really enjoyed the books -- I'm so tempted by the idea of seeing a place where the story world has come to life in so many ways. In truth, I'm a little jealous. My characters and settings are always vivid inside my head ... but what I wouldn't give to be able to visit them in real life from time to time!

10 witty remarks:

JustineDell said...

I would love to visit some of the places I have written about. Like you, they are vivid to me - and mainly from the images/information I found on Google. I want the images to become reality!! But I digress. I doubt I will ever got to any place I write about. I'm not much of a traveler. But I can dream, can't I? ;-)


Amparo Ortiz said...

This makes me so giddy and warm inside! I'm thrilled to see such a nice town get back on its feet, even if it did take a bestselling novel for it to do so (never heard of that happening before...).

My WIP has a ton of places I'd kill to visit in Texas, particularly San Antonio. Let's see if I can treat that piggy bank with more respect!

Terry Towery said...

Interesting post, Tracy. While I won't pretend to be a Twilight fan (didn't read the books or see the films), I am thrilled for the little town. How cool must it be to be a 14-year-old girl from THERE? ;)

(Full disclosure: My lovely wife has Team Edward underpants. Seriously. She got them as a gag gift for a young female intern at the paper and loved them so much she kept them!)

Tracy said...

Justine - I use areas I've been in Baltimore for a lot of my current day setting. But a large part of the story I'm shopping is set in 16th century London. Sadly, a lot of those places have been lost to time. :o(

Amparo - I know what you mean. My visit to check out Forks is going to have to wait until I can afford to fly clear to the other side of the country. If I'd just lay off the Starbucks mochas a little ...

Terry - I think most of the residents find it amusing, but I would assume there have to be times where it gets a little annoying too.

What would your wife say if she knew you were talking about her underpants in the blogging community, lol. Then again, they are Team Edward, so she'd have the backing of a whole allegiance on her side.

Terry Towery said...

Ha. I didn't say she wears them (I'll never tell), only that she kept them because they are so hilarious looking (they are). She's used to me and my open-book personality. ;)

Matthew Rush said...

Okay, I've never been to Forks, but I was born in Seattle and have been all over the Olympic Peninsula. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The Olympic National Forest is the only rainforest in North America and it is the greenest place I have ever seen. The movie of course wasn't actually filmed there, but the nature shots they had of British Columbia are very similar to what it looks like there.

Anyway I've only ever really written about places I've actually been, though I have used Google Maps and street view to refresh my memory from time to time.

Speaking of Baltimore the only thing I remember is Edmonson Avenue. It is one of the saddest/scariest places I have ever seen.

Thanks for sharing Tracy.

Tracy said...

Sadly, Matthew, there are some supremely scary places in Baltimore. But the area right down by the Inner Harbor, with Camden Yards & M&T Bank Stadium right next to each other. That part of town is a lot of fun.

I definitely want to check out the entire Washington/ Vancouver area some time. I'm a sucker for majestic landscapes!

Shannon said...

I've said it before, but it bears repeating...I love Baltimore. I moved there after getting my B.A. and loved the area. I miss it so much!

With that said, I like your spin on how Twilight has *helped* Forks. There's so much resentment and hate toward the books, it's nice to see something positive for a change. :)

Back to Baltimore, have you been to Ze Mean Bean yet?

KarenG said...

That is awesome! I had no idea it was a real town. Wonderful that the books helped their economy!!

Tracy said...

Shannon - I've never even heard of Ze Mean Bean. Don't laugh, is it a coffee shop?

Karen - I didn't realize what an impact it had on their town until I was watching a DVD about it the other night. Then it made me feel less bad about enjoying the stories so much. And I'm totally going to go there and throw my money at Forks sometime within the next year, of course.

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