I haven't updated this blog with anything personal in a while, so I wanted to let you know what has been going on with my writing.
My contemporary romance novel is undergoing a final edit. I am moving the setting to the Sierra Nevada foothills, to a fictional area inspired by the by the towns of Rough and Ready and Penn Valley. The novel touches on fictional issues of nepotism, gossip, and abuse of power in a small town, but is not meant to reflect any person, people, or behaviours of those in government in either of these real towns. As I say, the story line is entirely fictional.
I wanted to reflect the natural beauty of the area and the slower pace of life which conflicts with the protagonists' experiences in LA and San Francisco. I believe that when most people think of California, they picture sunny beaches and movie stars, but that is really such a small part of the state.
I live in a gold rush area, filled with redwoods and pines, scarred by the strip mines, and fed by an abundance of lakes and rivers. This is a place where you may lose cell phone reception, where you can still get lost, where you can hide out in the hills and avoid contact with other people if you chose. It is a place where you can go fishing, boating, or hiking just ten or fifteen minutes from home. There is one sandwich shop in town and one small grocery store. Costco is an hour's drive. It might take even longer if your neighbor happens to be herding cattle up your street or driving a tractor to a friend's house to lend a hand.
I think this unique setting will be of interest to readers and will certainly influence my characters.
As to the novel half-written, I have reached a point where I need to do some serious research to plot the second half. I have not fully researched the War for Independence at this point because inspiration struck and I wanted to get the main plot on paper while it was strong in my head. The war affects the characters and exists in the background, but this is not a war novel. It is the story of a group of people attempting to do what is right, stumbling, disagreeing, and creating anguish in the process. It is about compromise, forgiveness, and respect. So, while I will be learning more about the setting, this is definitely a character-driven novel. I hope to finish it soon.
Let me know if you like these updates and I will post more. You can also follow me on Twitter for tidbits on my writing struggles and triumphs.