Where Does a Town Come From?

When my kids were growing up my husband's family bought a house in Kellogg, Idaho. Kellog is the home to Silver Mountain Ski Resort. The house was used as a rental most of the year. But Thanksgivings were reserved for the family and we met many times there for good food, skiing, games and laughter. Of course, the house was sold shortly before we moved from Washington to Alabama, but the memories linger. (I also grew up with Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort just miles from my home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. So small town details are in my blood. No, I don't ski. Just FYI.) As a writer, that's a really good thing. It means there are lots of good details to pull from my brain to use in my storytelling and this memory was no exception.

How any idea is born, I have no clue. Sometimes I just wake up and it's there. Sometimes it's from a picture or a bit of music. In the case of Parson Corners, the rock star idea came first. I have always loved Mandy Moore, ever since "Candy". Come on. Admit it. You know I'm not alone.

That idea percolated, mixing with Silver Mountain until I needed a new idea for a new town. It wasn't as simple as pulling all that out and viola, there it was. No, took a little more mixing than that. We'd moved to Texas by then and were making visits home by jetting across I-40 into Colorado and thru Denver. I love Colorado's scenery. I'd just published the first two Echo Falls, so I didn't want another Texas small town, so I went looking in Colorado. A cruise of the internet turned up the San Juan Mountain Range and South Fork, Colorado.

It was after I saw all these pictures that the ideas began to roll together. A look see on the Colorado map devised the name of Parson and the rest is made-up history. Of course, who hasn't seen headlines about this rock star arrested or that rock star's life is a mess - well, the natural conclusion for any romance author is to brainstorm, well, a romance. So seemingly random bits of information unite to form a strong idea.

Here is the result. The Rock Star's Sheriff is now on sale on Amazon. It was a fun write and with four Murphy brothers, you know there has to be a sequel. Next will be Secret Daddy, a story about Leia's security chief, Mark Banning, coming in October 2012.   And Wyatt's story -  Five-Star Wife. Who would have the audacity to challenge brother Wyatt's chef genius? Find out in April 2013.


Kelly McCrady said...

Wyatt's girl has gotta have her eye on a Michelin Star, if she doesn't already have one. I think they award them to restaurants but the chef is definitely attached to it.

Patti Ann Colt said...

We must brainstorm this together. Can hardly wait to pick your brain, O mighty writing partner.