Or at least that’s the reason that I’ve been slowly creating the town of Snowberry Creek, Washington. All stories need a backdrop, the place where all the action plays out. For the characters to become real enough for readers to care about, the world they live and work in has to be three-dimensional and believable.
Okay, so if you’re reading a fantasy novel or science fiction, those worlds may be vastly different than the one we actually live in. However, it’s the author’s job to make sure that there are elements in those worlds that you, as the reader, can relate to on some level.
Think about the first Star Wars movie (actually, it was IV). Yes, the world was alien and there were races of beings unlike any that we’ve ever met, but we saw Luke eating dinner with his family, something all of us have experienced. Just like Luke, we’ve all experienced the teenage years when we struggled to leave our childhood behind to be seen as adults. Even the bar scene with it’s very strange band was familiar because of the physical layout of the place and the music had all of us tapping our toes.
So when I set out to write my newest release, A TIME FOR HOME, I had to think long and hard about what kind setting would best fit the story. I could have used an existing location, and I have done that in the past. However, this time I wanted to create my own small town because that would allow me to control what kind of place it will be.
Not just the physical layout of the town, but also the kinds of businesses and shops that will be there. My hero and heroine need places to go, things to do, and other people to interact with, not just each other. After all, how boring would it be if the entire story took place in just a single room, one with beige walls that reveal nothing of the person who lives there?
First and foremost, I wanted the town to be the kind of place where people looked out for each other. The pastor has formed a veterans’ support group. The police chief reaches out to a newcomer to help him find his place in the town. The owner of the new coffee shop knows her customers by name, and the guy who owns the hardware store makes his own deliveries. Those details made the town come alive for me.
There is also a cafe where the menu hasn’t changed in forty years, but no one complains because the food is so good. Well, and because everyone is a little afraid of Frannie. The people in town turn out to cheer on the high school athletes because they used to play for those same teams when they went to that school.
It doesn’t hurt that Snowberry Creek is located in a picturesque part of the country, right in the middle of the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Picture snowcapped mountains and towering Douglas Firs as a backdrop to the town. The changing seasons will add another layer of depth and believability to the town.
As I continue to “play” in this new world I’m creating, I’m sure there will be more businesses opening in Snowberry Creek and new people moving to town. Some grew up there and are back to find their roots. Others are newcomers looking for a place to call their own.
Personally, I can’t wait to meet them! I hope you’ll enjoy meeting Nick Jenkins, a soldier back from his most recent deployment, and Callie Redding, who has come back to her hometown. Oh, and Mooch, the dog who brings these two together
A Time for Home
A Snowberry Creek Novel
Even the most wounded hearts can be healed….
Welcome to the small, rustic town of Snowberry Creek …
As Nick Jenkins travels from the war zones of Afghanistan to his comrade’s hometown, the kind of wounds he carries with him have little to do with the shrapnel damage to his arm. Burdened with the guilt of failing to save his friend, Spence, Nick is nonetheless determined to find a home for the dog that had been Spence’s constant companion.
Callie Redding, Spence’s childhood best friend, was shocked to learn he left her his old Victorian home. She’s even more surprised when one of his war buddies shows up with a friendly dog at his side—and a heavy weight on his shoulders. As a tribute to their friend’s life, Nick agrees to help Callie turn her inheritance into a welcoming bed and breakfast for the town of Snowberry Creek.
But as they work through their grief together, they also share something far more precious—the belief that love is worth fighting for…