All my life I’ve lived in a city or the suburbs that’s within a half-hour drive to a big city. Right now, I’m smack in the middle of Dallas and Fort Worth and can have my fill of city life going east or west. I like the conveniences, I do. I hate the traffic and the claustrophobia being so close to other folks can cause. Right now, I’m looking out my big bay window, a lovely spot in my home, only to see my neighbors homes staring at me from across the street. Ha.
I’ve had a taste of small towns, though. My grandparents lived in a small west Texas town that I absolutely loved. Mr. Castle’s family remains in his birth town up in northern Michigan. I love being able to drive past open fields with a scattering of homes. I love attending their churches and even though you’re an outsiders, you’re never invisible. Because you’re related to one of their own, they take you in, too.
I’m not saying that I’d ever want to give up my suburban life. I mean, when my family in Michigan visits and we’re going to take a trip to Walmart, they’re packing up snacks and drinks as if we’re driving down to Austin instead of two blocks to the shopping mall. I found out during one trip up there, that going to Wally-world is like taking a drive to Waco. You better pack some chips and extra waters because you’re going to be driving for at least an hour, if not more.
I remember how excited my grandparents were when Wally-world finally moved into their little Texas town. Why, they thought they were as grand as uptown Dallas when that happened. True story. My grandma’s exact words.
For me, small towns were pleasant escapes from the hustle and bustle of life. So I guess it stands to reason why I love setting my books in such places. But it’s more than that.
Last month, I was driving with my son to his new college up in the panhandle of Texas, near Amarillo. Let me tell you. some of those desolate towns we passed through and all that flat, flat, flat land simply amazed me. (I’d never had any reason to venture up that way before). I kept wondering who would live in these one strip towns were most of the buildings were vacant and collapsing in on themselves? Someone lived there because a few business were open. Were they happy in this town? Why had caused them to die out and was there any hope of reviving them?
And that’s what I ended up writing about. A failing town on the verge of death and the heroes of that town joining together to revive it. Why? I guess because I cling to HOPE. Hope that things can turn around. Hope that if people worked together for the common good, life can blossom again. Hope that death can be beaten, perhaps?
Each of my Madison Creek story characters have loved, struggled, yet done their small part to make the town a little bit stronger, better, more prosperous. We can’t save the world, but we can do our small part to make the world a better place. I believe that with everything I have.
So, that’s why this big town girl loves writing about small towns. Because she has hope that even the small can do mighty things.
My newest Madison Creek B&B, Sun Kisses, will be released by time you read this post. Here’s a little more about the story:
History drew them together and then threatened to tear them apart.
Despite her attempt to portray a woman in control, Karen Borgman’s life is a mess. Living with an uncaring, unfaithful husband had been bad enough, but his death sent her life into a humiliating tailspin.
Only her fight to revive for her small town, Madison Creek, and sharing its deep history with tourist kept her sane. When history professor, Kelvin Fairbanks, sailed into her life, Karen’s hope of a life with a good man is ignited. What could go wrong?
But when her heart’s desire, a desire she could never attain on her own, is dropped on her doorstep, her reputation and relationship with Kelvin are threatened.
Another heartwarming story from Madison Creek Bed and Breakfast and the characters you’ve grown to love.
So what about you? Do you live in a small town, or big city, or somewhere in between? What do you love about the place you are at? Finally, do you enjoy reading about small towns, or do you prefer more metropolitan settings?
Here’s a little video I put together. Enjoy and blessings to all of you.