Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who Would Have Thought?

Like many other teenagers, I always wanted to get out of my hometown. It was small (1,600 people), there was nothing to do (except cruise main over and over), and everyone was into everyone else's business.

Now that I'm living in a slightly bigger place (260,000), there's much more to do, you enjoy a certain amount of anonymity, and there's a RWA chapter. :-)

But for my next book, I'm going back to what I know best - my hometown. This is a picture of our courthouse. It's not anything really special, but let me tell you - when they wanted to tear it down and build a brand new one, residents were up in arms to save it. And they did.

I never thought I'd use my hometown as a setting for anything I wrote, but it's going to fit in perfect for my next book, albeit in a different time period - the 1940's. I know the town thrived more during this time and I'm anxious to delve into the old newspapers and pick my parents' brains since they both grew up there.

I'm also using this weekend's trip as a research opportunity. I'll be heading to Fort Robinson to do some on-site research. I'll actually be able to go into the houses where my characters lived during World War II. How awesome is that? I actually worked here during my first summer of college. Again - using it as a setting for a novel, or even for my graduate thesis? Never would have thought. But I am and I did. (I actually wrote my thesis on the German POW camp located at the Fort during WWII).

I guess the whole point of this rather rambling conversation is that you just never know. I always wanted to set my novels in foreign places - Paris, London, Italy - but Nebraska? That was just plain boring. But I'm seeing it in a different light now.

What about you? Do you love your hometown or where you grew up?

7 comments:

  1. I think there are certain memories made in my hometown that I love, but the town itself? No.

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  2. I do but like you, it took living away from it to truly appreciate it. Now I'm back and I couldn't possibley think of living anywhere else. And yes, one of my stories is based here too.

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  3. Melissa, knowing and revisiting the setting will add so much to your novel! You have a connection to that place no one other than you could capture.

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  4. Dana - I don't know that I necessarily love this town...I always like to go back and visit, but there is no way I could ever live there again. Most of my family is there, though, so I get to go back quite often.

    Stacy - Thanks for dropping by! Is it different to live in your hometown after being away for awhile?

    Jason - You're absolutely right. This will definitely give my novel a rich flavor. :-)

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  5. I love my hometown. Its grown quite a bit since I left. The fields and woods we used to have adventures in are now mowed down and replaced by subdivisions-ugh. I don't go back much now. I would visit Maxx a couple times per year but now that she's moved up here, there's really no reason to. My family all made the move up here with me.

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  6. Have a great time! That's what I'm going to do when dh and I go to Ireland. I'm going to be jotting down notes galore to add into my books. :)

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  7. I'm with Kelly - my hometown (the place where I was born and lived the first 8 years of my life) has changed so much - my entire neighborhood is gone.

    The place where I grew up? Yeah, I love it, but I don't know if I really want to stay here - the heat has gotten so bad (humidity and pollution) - the summers are terrible.

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