I wouldn’t be able to pass this along, if I hadn’t heard it quoted at a conference recently. Since I didn’t ask permission, I hesitate to name names, but the quote had me thinking…could it be? Will the number of small town romances and small town series start hitting the shelves, and immediatly flying off because readers simply cannot get enough of them? I surely do hope so!
I was delighted when my editor asked if I’d like to write a small town series. I’ve always enjoyed using small towns as part of the settings in my books. The small town of Emerson, Colorado was the setting for my historical Irish Western Series, and Merewood Keep, the setting for my Medieval trilogy was a small town unto itself.
Having grown up in a small neighborhood with 25 or so homes and dead-end streets, I understood exactly what it felt like. We were a community within a much larger township, but so happy to be isolated. We’ve spent the last thirty years living in a small lake community in northern NJ with all of the same feelings and quirks of small town living—the most notorious, and interesting—being the women who keep everyone updated on the latest news: good and bad.
On Cedar Hill—where I grew up—we had my grandmother, my great-aunt, and both Mrs. Johnsons. In Lindy’s Lake—where we still live—we had Honey Baker, Marty Walsh, Ann Ahrens and Millie Salisbury. In Apple Grove…there is Mrs. Winter, Miss Trudi Philo and Honey B. Harrington to pass along the latest gossip, and they enjoy doing so over at Honey’s Hair Salon and the Apple Grove Diner over a slice of the McCormack girls’ pie.
Family ties are strong in my life and therefore in all of my books. I love to include bits and pieces of my Irish heritage and sharing family names with heroes and heroines. My great aunt Margaret Purcell married Joseph Mulcahy. In a roundabout way, I met one of her great-nieces while on Ancestry.com when I entered my great-grandfather’s name and found the same picture that sits on my mantelpiece staring out at me! I shot off an email and she wrote back, delighted to have heroines with the same last name.
My husband is a true handyman…so far there hasn’t been anything he cannot fix. Of course most of what he knows, he learned on-the-job, but what an amazing skill to have…the innate knowledge of how something should work and how to fix it when it’s broken. So, I decided to put some of the handyman skills I’ve observed over the years to good use and have the Mulcahy sisters: Megan, Caitlin, and Grace taking over the family run handyman business when their father retires. My mom was the one to put up the wallpaper and chair rail in our dining room…my dad preferred painting and liked to plant things. I’m semi-handy—the rub is that I’m surrounded by handymen: my darling hubby and our two sons…but they have a tendency to put jar lids on too tight…much to my dismay and that of our daughter when she’s visiting with our darling grandbaby.
The other aspect about small town living that I loved writing about is the diversity of characters living in them—especially the everyday heroes that too often go unnoticed day after day—purposefully not seeking the spotlight. So I just had to toss Daniel Egan—the hero in AWIAG—into the fray when he rescues two of the players from his soccer team off the railroad trestle bridge—but that’s all I’m saying because I don’t want to spoil the fun!
Soooo…if the scuttlebutt happens to be true and small town is the new vampire…then Woo Hoo! Brew a cup of tea, grab something sweet to eat (AWIAG has 2 tried-and-true recipes to try…Grandma Eagan’s Buttered Pecan Pie in the front of the book and Grandma McCormack’s Cream Scones in the back), curl up and let me introduce you to the quirky characters that live in Apple Grove…
I’m giving away a signed copy of A WEDDING IN APPLE GROVE to one lucky reader today. Please remember to leave your email address so that I can get in touch with you after random.org picks the winner’s name. Here’s the question: Do you think small town romance is the latest up and coming genre…aka the new vampire? If so why? If not why?WINNER
About the Author:
I was born in Aiken, South Carolina, but alas, my parents moved back to northern New Jersey where I grew up, which if you’ve met me would explain a lot. I’ve always had my nose in a book, have traveled the world over, and even tested the time-space continuum, thanks to the awesome power of the written word.
My love for the written word is a gift from my parents, but the need to write was instilled by my 7th Grade English teacher. One of my writing quirks is that I love to include bits and pieces of my ancestors and ancestry in all of my books. Check out my fun facts and genealogy page to see which characters are named after family or friends.
Fate, destiny and love at first sight will always play a large part in my stories because they played a major role in my life. When I saw my husband for the first time, I knew he was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I’ve loved him forever…well…more than half my life. Each and every hero I write about has a few of Dave’s best qualities, his honesty, his integrity, his compassion for those in need and his killer broad shoulders. I’m such a sucker for a man with broad shoulders.
Find CH on her website | Twitter | Facebook