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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Beyond the Book: I Didn't Go Far

Moves or other locales…how have they affected your writing? 

This is an interesting topic for me. I live right across the street from the house I was raised in. After my husband and I got married we moved to North Carolina for a little over a year. I made some good friends there, but to be honest it wasn’t that different from the little South Carolina town where I grew up.

I also lived in Virginia for a year or so. I loved living there. The place where we lived was just across the river from Petersburg, and of course Richmond and Washington as well as Jamestown and Williamsburg weren’t far away. This was a bigger place so I was exposed to some different ways of thinking and doing things. This place didn’t feel like the little town I grew up in. 

Of course eventually we moved back to our hometown. We bought a house near my parents because I was going back to school, and they were very helpful as babysitters. My dad especially was happy. He never had any sons, and I gave him two grandsons.

We traveled some over the years. We toured Europe, went to Disney World, and we had a great vacation in Arizona. We flew to Arizona and rented a car and toured the state. It was loads of fun. We also explored the Pacific Northwest which we though was incredibly beautiful. 

I suppose all of these places helped me create an atmosphere and a sense of place in my work, but mostly when I write I decide where I want the book to be located, and then I do extensive research about that area of the world. You’d be surprised what you can learn from the internet. 

Would my writing have been the same without my limited travel experiences? No, probably not. Each time we moved or visited a new location we absorbed new values and attitudes, and that had to influence an author’s final product no matter how much online research she does. 

Readers, I’m curious. How many of you still live in the town where you grew up?

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