This week, Dee S Knight is back to tell us about small town living and how it relates to writing…
Jack and I have lived lots of places in this great U S of A, and we’ve been able to experience large town living as well as small. All in all, I prefer small. (I’m such a poet!)
We’ve lived right outside New York City and in the Civic Center/City Hall area of San Francisco. We’ve lived in St. Louis and Richmond and Tidewater Virginia. And we’ve lived in tiny places like Greenwood, South Carolina, and the village of Fork Union. One small/large place we had the pleasure of living was Glen Ellyn, Illinois—a suburb of Chicago that was small town heaven.
We found our little town while traveling from one complex to another searching out an apartment. I was driving. We passed a sign that welcomed us to Glen Ellyn and I was immediately in love. “Wouldn’t it be great to live here? It’s like a slice of Americana.”
“It’s really nice. And look!” Jack pointed off to my left. “There’s a house for rent.”
Sure enough, there was a sign in the yard of a huge duplex. We called and the landlord came out to show us the place.
The house was like a dream come true. We could finally have an office, a guest room and a real dining room. More than having a number of rooms, every room was spacious. The rent was high, but the house was only a couple of blocks from the METRA station into Chicago, and one block from the village shops and restaurants. We could walk to almost everything. We took the chance.
We were thrilled to live in this charming, friendly place. We sat curbside for 4th of July and Homecoming parades, cheered at fireworks and walked into the village for the lighting of the Christmas tree and to watch the children trick-or-treat. We became “regulars” at the local diner and friends with the butcher at the boutique grocery store. With the availability of the train into Chicago, we were able to be close enough to family to share really special times, as well as plays and fine dining.
We loved our time in Chicago-land. So, you might ask, what does this have to do with writing? Well, location plays a part in all of our work. In NYC, there is a palpable energy you can only feel if you’re there. Chicago is more laid back than New York. It’s like a beautiful woman who doesn’t have to work to let people know how beautiful she is. And where can you have the beautiful scenery and yet the craziness that is San Francisco all in one location?
People act differently in cities and towns, too. Maybe it’s the anonymity in large cities that makes people think they can do things they’d never be able to in small towns. My mother once decreed (rather loudly) that the next person rude enough to jostle her off the sidewalk in downtown Minneapolis would get decked. In small towns I’ve found people friendly enough to help you even when you might not want them to. All of this is fodder for our writing.
Do you use the place where you live effectively in your work? Do you watch people to see how you can use them in your books?
A few years ago, Dee S. Knight began writing, making getting up in the morning fun. During the day, her characters killed people, fell in love, became drunk with power, or sober with responsibility. And they had sex, lots of sex.
After a while, Dee split her personality into thirds. She writes as Anne Krist for sweeter romances, and Jenna Stewart for ménage and shifter stories. All three of her personas are found on the Nomad Authors website. And all three offer some of the best romance you can find! Also, once a month, look for Dee’s Charity Sunday blog posts, where your comment can support a selected charity.
Where to find her (them):
Sweet ‘n Sassy Divas: http://bit.ly/1ChWN3K