Welcome to “Your Small-Town” USA!

If you are like me and grew up in a small-town you know how wonderful and horrible it can be.

Wonderful because of the quirky characters, nosy neighbors and all around friendliness and caring that people who live in a small-town have for each other.

Horrible because…well…the quirky characters (who always seem to be around when you’re trying to impress a new boyfriend), nosy neighbors (who feel compelled to tattle when you skip school FOR THE FIRST TIME to meet said boyfriend) and friendliness that sometimes seems oppressive when you’re young but that you appreciate way more when you get older.

Writing about small-town isn’t really a challenge when you’ve lived in one for most of your life.  I grew up in Fenton, Michigan and attended a Catholic school until eighth grade.  I literally could ride my bike there every day until I went to high school, when I had to catch a bus for the first time.

I attended the University of Michigan for two years and took a couple anthropology classes.  (And some others that I don’t much remember…hey, it WAS the 70’s!)  It was there that the seeds for Heart of Stone were planted….

heartwithkeyShortly after I met and married my husband, we moved to Houston, Texas and…ba da boom!

Eventually, we got used to the traffic and hustle and bustle and heat of a large metro area…but after 14 years my husband longed for that small-town atmosphere again.  Soooo…we moved to tiny Cheboygan, Michigan and froze our who-ha’s off for 10 years.  That’s where I worked in the small rural hospital and got my background ideas for Finding Precious.

And yes…many of the characters are based on people I met there.

After our son graduated college and moved back to Texas (because you can drag the boy out of Texas, but you can’t take Texas out of the boy) my husband decided that:

  1.  He really hated snow and
  2. Our Michigan home needed to be a summer-only home.

Soooo…we moved back south in 2007, this time to Austin, where we bought a home just east in a small-town called Manor.

My small-town stories include pancake breakfasts and Fourth of July parades and friends who help each other out when times get bad.

And that leaves lots of memories for a few more small-town romance stories that have yet to be written!

Share your small-town memories with a comment or two here and please follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

tomatoes  onions  corn

 

17 thoughts on “Welcome to “Your Small-Town” USA!

  1. Hey Sandi! Great website (Kudos to Cheryl) and yes, after reading ‘precious’ snippets from “Finding Precious”, I have to say you captured small town Michigan very well (e.g., the tourists, the fudge, & nosy landladies). I only endured 5 winters in Michigan, but that was enough for me. I’m glad we both found ARWA!

  2. Hi Sandi,
    Kudos to you and Cheryl Rae. Your website looks great! And I would like to commend you on your sticktoit-ness with getting those manuscripts done. I joined about the same time as you and unfortunately, my work keeps interfering with my writing. I want to retire so bad, but I have 5 more years. Meanwhile, once this class I am taking for work is over, maybe I can get back to focussing on my manuscript. GREAT WEBSITE! You keep chasing after those dreams, you are easily more than half-way there.

    1. Thanks Laura! I too work fulltime and probably have to a few more years. I try to carve out time in the morning or after work, even if it is only 30 minutes, to write. It is bliss when I have a weekend to spend in my office with no interruptions. Few and far between I’m afraid.
      Don’t give up! Take what you can and keep on keepin’ on!

  3. Hi Sandi! Love the new site! Especially the super cute chalkboard on your “My Books” page. And I’ve gotta tell you that I’m mighty impressed with your book list. Can’t wait to see what you cook up next!

    1. Thanks Tammy…it was fun working with Cheryl to set everything up. Have a few other stories in my head, just need to get them on the paper!

  4. Very nice! Your website is professional and comfortable – exactly the feel one wants when looking for a new book to read on those lazy summer days at the beach. And, considering that I am living in one of those small towns north of the state of Michigan freezing my who-has off; anything that can make me think of lazing on the beach or summer has to be well written! I congratulate you on a job well done.

    1. Yes, I am small town still. But that’s okay, it makes it easier to write about the characters that I remember…like the girl across the street who got into a fight with her boyfriend and he threw her purse in a tree! Never forget us trying to get it down that afternoon….:?

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