13 Things About Gidion Keep: Gidion’s High School

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I go to a lot of effort to keep things as realistic as possible in the Gidion Keep, Vampire Hunter novels, but I bend the rules in certain places. With that in mind, I’m going to discuss a few things about Gidion Keep’s high school in this latest blog entry counting down to the release of Gidion’s Blood which comes out in just one week from today.

During the time I started writing Gidion’s Hunt, the first book in the series, my kids hadn’t even gotten into middle school yet, so I knew very little about the high schools in Chesterfield County where Gidion and his dad live. I decided to make up a high school, naming it West Chester High. The name was partially inspired by my alma mater. When I grew up in South Carolina, I attended Richland Northeast High, so I made sure to include the county name and a directional in the title of Gidion’s school.

Richland Northeast High School

Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina, the school Gidion Keep’s high school is modeled after.

The layout of Gidion’s school is a direct lift from my old high school, which included a beautiful courtyard where students would hang out before school and during lunch. I also made sure Gidion’s school mascot would be the Cavaliers and the school colors are orange and blue. Given the book is set in Virginia, you might think that was chosen because of the University of Virginia Cavaliers. You’d only be partially right. I chose those because Richland Northeast was the Cavaliers and the colors were orange and blue. However, I believe the people who founded the school chose the mascot and colors because of UVA, which only now strikes me as incredibly ironic given I now live in Virginia.

At one point in the first book, Gidion saves a girl from his school’s rivals, Midlothian Springs High. Richland Northeast’s rival school was Spring Valley. Not hard to see how I translated that one. I also gave Midlothian Springs the same mascot as Spring Valley, making them the Vikings.

A place I cheated is the school schedule. When I went to Richland Northeast, the schedule consisted of six periods with a lunch between fourth and fifth period. The school system in Chesterfield County doesn’t work like that, and even with my daughter now in high school here, I can’t keep straight how her schedule works. That’s why Gidion’s school schedule goes against the norm in Chesterfield. The only thing I took from the Chesterfield County schools was the start and end time of the school day.

In the second book, I decided to get things a tad more realistic. Gidion attends a basketball game at his school, and the opposing team is the Monacan Chiefs, a school that does exist in Chesterfield County.

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About Bill Blume

Bill Blume discovered his love for the written word while in high school and has been writing ever since. His latest book Gidion's Blood is being released on August 11th by Diversion Books. His short stories have been in many fantasy anthologies and various ezines. Just like the father figure in his first novel, Bill works as a 911 dispatcher for Henrico County Police and has done so for more than a decade. He also served as the 2013 chair for James River Writers in Richmond, which produces one of the nation’s best annual conferences for educating and connecting writers.
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