As some of you may be aware, I went to the first annual local author book fest for Graham County Arizona last month, and I had an amazing time, met a lot of wonderful authors that I didn’t even know were around! I did several interviews for local news, print and video and here’s the one I’ve found so far. I can’t bring myself to watch it but I hope you enjoy! (and that I don’t come across as a total moron!)
We’re two weeks out from the release of Robin’s Nest. I’m more than a little excited. This one is set in my tiny home town of Duncan Arizona. I’ve had a lot of people ask me why I chose to set my book there, and it’s not a simple answer.
About ten years ago, shortly after it came out, I picked up Dean Koontz’s By the Light of the Moon. I admit, I read almost everything he writes and have for years, I’m a little behind now because I don’t have the time I once did. But I digress.
Anyway, I was reading the book, which starts out in an unnamed piece of desert in southern Arizona. I don’t remember the character’s names anymore but one pair, a young man and his mentally handicapped brother follow the highways and go through several towns, most of which are unnamed in the story. However, since I had been born and raised in the area, I knew much of where they were. It was exhilarating.
The idea that the people in this book were in places I knew thrilled me in ways I’m not sure I can explain. So when I sat down and started writing, I wanted other people to feel the same. I wanted people who live in the middle of nowhere, to be able to do the same thing I did. Gasp and say “O M G I know that place!”
I realize there won’t be a huge number of readers who can do that, but it’s a way of connecting with those familiar with the area. It’s was also a way to let people unfamiliar with the area see the beauty there that they haven’t seen, or haven’t seen through the eyes of someone who loves the area.
An added bonus was that it let me visit, at least in my mind, home. I hadn’t been there in quite a while and I got to visit some of my favorite places, and share them with my readers.
This post was written on 5/12 and posted after I returned from the trip
We didn’t get out until 10:30pm on Friday evening. That’s really not too bad considering Kidlets had school and Hubster worked until 5 that day. We finished packing up the trailer and pulled out, Yes, I know camping with a trailer is not truly camping, but I like having a bed, and a bathroom doesn’t hurt either.
We could have waited until the next morning, but it’s a long drive and we like to drive at night. Other than giving us a head start on the trip, it also lets us avoid high traffic times as we go through Phoenix. The kids slept off and on for most of the trip, until we pulled into Show Low at about 4:30 and stopped to eat. (Another advantage to the trailer, we can put the dog in there while we eat / shop and he curls up on the sofa and is content, as well as protecting it from anyone who might want to break in, as long as the weather isn’t too hot that is.) We finished our grocery shopping (I always do this, get most of the food and water up here so we’re not hauling it so far,) and made the last hour and a half up the mountain to the lake. I won’t tell you the exact lake we go to, we like to keep it a secret, I’ll just say it’s in the White Mountains of Arizona (yes, near where the White Mountain Chanat series is set, where do you think I got the inspiration for it?)
We don’t camp in the Forest Service campgrounds around our favorite lake, instead we head to what locals call the Overflow Camping. We like having fewer people around, the downside is once the Forest Service limits fires, we can’t have one. We got there early enough this year it wasn’t an issue.
Anyway. We spent most of Saturday getting camp all set up, the trailer leveled, the generator set out, unload the trailer (since EVERYTHING is packed in it. We had to clean out the fire pit and get it ready for our own fires. We strung a rope through camp and hooked the tie cable for the dog to it, so it would slide the length of the rope this meant he had access to almost all our camp, but couldn’t wander off and disturb neighbors or get into the road. Hubster and the kids played a little softball, and we had a small fire to burn all the burnable trash we’d gathered (both from unpacking and what the previous campers had left behind.) It took us most of the day to get everything set up, and by 5pm we were exhausted. I fixed us a quick dinner and we were all in bed by the time it was dark.
Sunday morning Hubster got up and got his fishing stuff ready, and took kid 3, aka The Boy, out fishing. The girls and I cleaned up the trailer from breakfast and they went out to play with the dog. they quickly discovered that if they would put pine cones on the t-ball tee that we brought for the boy, and hit them toward the dog, he would chase them. The dog loves this game. He chases the pine cones and as soon as the girl hitting them has put a new one on the tee, he’s back to her, barking and jumping for her to hit another one. They played at this game for at least an hour, until everyone involved was exhausted.