I’m thinking about Oz today because I’m thinking about settings. Some writers like to choose exotic settings someplace far, far from home. Others write about places in their own backyard. I do a little of both although I seldom write about any place I haven’t been. Why? Because as a reader, nothing infuriates me quicker than reading about a place I know and I can tell the author doesn’t. I usually read any book to the end but I quit on a book by a well-known author because her story set in the southwest corner of Arkansas, flat country dotted with oil wells and known as part of the Ark-La-Tex was described as being in the Ozark Mountains and dotted with pine trees. The Ozarks ended about mid-state and pines aren’t common. A friend of mine hated Stephen King’s The Stand for the simple reason scenes set in her hometown of Pratt, Kansas said the town had a square when it doesn’t, didn’t, and never will.
I think of these things when I sit to write and I do my best to make sure I get the settings right.
My upcoming May 17 full length historical romance In The Shadow of War from Rebel Ink Press is set where I now live, in the small Ozarks town of Neosho, Missouri, during a pivotal point in history. Neosho was home to the “real” Camp Swampy, Camp Crowder during World War II. Mort Walker, artist known for his famous comic strip Beetle Bailey, was stationed there and the soldiers did indeed call the place Camp Swampy. My next up from Rebel is also a historical but set this time in my hometown of St. Joseph, Missouri. People in both places are eager to read fiction by a hometown author in a familiar setting.
Her great-granddaughter wants to know if Bette remembers World War II for a school project and her questions revive old memories….
Small town school teacher Bette Sullivan's life was interrupted when the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 but her world changed forever when she met Private Benny Levy, a soldier from the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York stationed at Camp Crowder, the local Army base.
Their attraction is immediate and mutual but as their relationship grows their love and lives are shadowed by World War II. As the future looms uncertain the couple comes together with almost desperate need and a powerful love they hope can weather anything, including the war.