“I’m in love with Montana.
For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection.
But with Montana it is love.
And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”
~ John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley
My DH and I got to drag friends from California on a whirlwind tour of our backyard yesterday. Now, we have a pretty special backyard. It includes the National Bison Range, Flathead Lake (the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes), and Glacier National Park.
While in Bigfork, we were looking at tee-shirts and I was reminded of this quote from John Steinbeck. It’s the common ground in this state. We love it with a fierce pride I’ve never found anywhere else–and I’ve lived in seven states!
Of course, as a romance writer, I also enjoyed the tee-shirt entitled “How to pick up chicks …” It depicted a bear picking up a little yellow chick. Just my style of humor!
One of the things that my friend kept saying was that she and her husband were taking this 7,000+ mile drive to understand the context of how this country is physically put together. She feels that, having seen a place, she’ll be able to understand a news story more clearly, because she’ll understand the context.
Love stories happen in a context of place, too. A romance in a small Mid-Western town is going to be very different from that of a hip young couple in New York City. Whether an author writing literary fiction, mystery, or romance, setting is a crucial part of how the character’s develop.
While I’ve loved writing my California Series of books, I’m glad to be shifting to my home state. Sweet Montana Christmas will be out on December 14.
I’ve entered California Sunrise in the RWA Rita Awards. Whether or not it makes it to the finals, I’m proud of that book and think it’s one of my best works yet. It will be included in Romance in Color , a collection of 10 multi-cultural romances for under $1, available full pre-order now.
Are you an aspiring author? From time to time, I’m going to provide a writing prompt. I’d love to see what you produce! (casey AT stories-about-love.com. Please put WRITING PROMPT in the subject line.)
WRITING PROMPT: What’s your favorite place to live or vacation? If you were to set a story there, what would your protagonist take from the setting? Show this in a short scene.