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….
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:
- He really hated snow and
- 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!
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