“For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people…”
— The Book of Ruth
There is a old, often repeated saying, that paraphrased, reads: That to know where you are going, you have to know where you’ve been.
Where and how one grows up carves, for better or worse, who and what we will one day be.
And that is never more true than with writers. Writers must drawn from the well-spring of past experiences to help mold and shape not only characters, but context and setting as well.
Some of Writerspace.com’s favorite authors recently reflected on their hometown, or hometowns in some cases, and the influence their past has had on their present.
HAUNTING DESIRE (Trade Paperback)
Mists of Ireland Series #3
EQ: My family moved around a lot when I was a kid. No, my dad wasn’t in the military — he just liked to explore. I was born in Independence, Missouri, home of Harry S. Truman, lived in Illinois, Maryland and Denver. Denver seemed to stick and we stayed there for awhile before moving to California. Moving and starting over taught me how to deal with new situations, but it also kept me from making lifelong friends. When I meet people who have known each other since childhood, I’m always jealous. I wonder what it would have been like to have been born and raised in the same place, to know everyone in my town, and to be connected to a specific place. I’ve moved so much that I couldn’t even tell you where I’d want to be buried when I die — not that I'm dwelling much on that, but it's a strange thing not knowing exactly where home is. On the flip side, I’m very independent and a bit fearless about taking on new situations and challenges. I think that comes from early learning— plus, living in the west for as long as I have. The wild frontier, though tamed and citified now, is different. Things are more spread out, life is less about society and norms and more about the wild spirit of things. It took a certain breed to settle out west and the character traits of the wild west have lingered even though the wild is long gone.
BREAK EVERY RULE (reissue)
A Falcon Novel
FR: I grew up in a very small town, Corsicana, Texas. I think small towns are very close knit and family oriented. I've enjoyed writing series about families that go to the mat for the other. Whether in a small town or big city, for the lucky ones, family will always come first.
THE GOODBYE QUILT (Hardcover)
SW: I was born in a tiny, picturesque town in upstate New York. It had a fantastic Greek Revival style library which I immortalized in LAKESHORE CHRISTMAS. My family moved overseas during the 70s and I lived in Brussels and then Versailles (near Paris). I have a love of big, sweeping stories and also a charming, nostalgic setting. Maybe it came from that juxtaposition of small town and big metropolitan cities.
THE TOUCH (e-book)
JH: I grew up on a ranch outside of Bisbee, Arizona. Growing up there influenced the “Armed & Dangerous” series (formerly the “Wild” series) as well as the single-title, Chosen Prey. The A&D series is set present day on and around ranches and features “cowboy lawmen.” Chosen Prey was set mostly in Bisbee.
MORE THAN WORDS, VOLUME 7 (anthology)
HOT ITEM (reissue)
Hot Zone #3
Carly Phillips and others
CP: I grew up in Spring Valley, NY. I never considered where I live small town but I would say the neighborhoods, the houses and ability to play outside, hang out, have moms stick their heads out and yell for their kids to come home for dinner all play into the small town life I love to write about in my books! I usually create fictional upstate NY towns and I do believe that places I’ve lived and experienced always come into play. In September, I'll begin the Serendipity series about ... you guessed it, a fictional upstate NY town not far from Manhattan, called Serendipity. I hope I can do justice and bring the town to life!
FORTUNE’S JUST DESSERTS (Harlequin Special Edition® #2107)
The Fortunes of Texas: Lost...and Found miniseries
MF: I grew up in New York City and while I don’t really think that living in New York influenced my style, it did influence me to do everything quickly. The pace in New York is quick, you hang back, you're lost, or get trampled. At any given moment, there are more people crossing the street in Manhattan than actually live in a lot of the small towns scattered through the United States. As much as I love California and wouldn’t move for the world, I have to admit that there's an energy in New York that infuses you. Had I grown up in a charming, sleepy little town, I might only have 100 books under my belt instead of 234.
A Dark Magick Novel #3
AB: I grew up in a rich suburb of Minneapolis. It was a great place to live and go to school. However, as in many schools, there were wealthy kids who had everything. They were very cliquey and judgmental, the way kids can sometimes be. If you didn’t dress the way they dressed or you were different in any way, you were ‘culled’ from the social herd. This, along with other influences in my life, taught me the emptiness in trying to fit into a box. I learned the value and richness in being myself, though the lesson was painful sometimes. I think these experiences helped me go against the flow and write paranormal romance when paranormal romance wasn’t cool. It also gave me the strength to write erotica back when many people judged that sub-genre incredibly harshly. If I hadn't had the strength to do these things, I wouldn't be where I’m at in my career today.
HITCHED AND HUNTED (Harlequin Intrigue® #1272)
Cooper Justice: Cold Case Investigation miniseries
PG: I was born and grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. About nine years ago, I moved to a small suburb north of Birmingham, where I live now. I love living in Birmingham. It gets a terrible rap, because of its shameful history in the Civil Rights era. But the city is so different now. The metro area is vibrant, diverse and a really nice place to live. Birmingham has a long, somewhat dark and troubled history. Personally, I’ve seen the effects of crime among people I grew up with. When I was very little, there were a couple of incidents in my neighborhood that brought police and rescue with the sirens blazing. After that, for a long time, any time I heard a siren, I got very upset and had to run home to make sure everyone was okay. I think I started reading mysteries as a result of that — I found comfort in the idea that when bad things happened, there were people who could make them right, or at least, make sure the bad guys paid and didn’t hurt anyone else.
Other authors with April releases include:
TAKEN BY THE PRINCE
The Governess Brides #9
Book Two of the Looking Glass Trilogy
An Arcane Society Novel #11
Book Two of the Dreamlight Trilogy
An Arcane Society Novel #8
First Time in Paperback
First Time in Paperback
SHIVER OF FEAR
A Guardian Angelinos Novel #2
Roxanne St. Claire
The Chesapeake Diaries #3
A Chesapeake Shores Novel #5
ALWAYS A HERO (Harlequin® Romantic Suspense #1651)
BENEATH THE COVERS (Kimani Romance® #232)
Ladies of the Pen #3 miniseries
HOW TO LASSO A COWBOY (Harlequin Romance® #4233)
The Fun Factor miniseries
FOX AND FERAL (e-book)
Protect and Serve series
A TALE OF TWO VIKINGS (reissue)
THE BARGAIN (reissue)
Mary Jo Putney
Logan Mosby is Content Editor for Writerspace.com
Tell us about your hometown. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org