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?
I've got a new home on the web - stop by if you get a chance! www.melissamarsh.net
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