It’s Fortifying Friday, which means it’s time to share in another guest author’s journey to publication. As writers, we often draw upon our past experiences to create believable stories. Today, Janet Tronstad explains how growing up in a small town inspired her to write the Dry Creek series. Enjoy, and be sure to answer her questions at the end.
I’ll Tell if You’ll Tell
Let’s Share Our Small Towns
by Janet Tronstad
My name is Janet Tronstad and I am a town-aholic. Especially small towns. I love the quaint little cafes and the suspicious looks an outsider gets from the kids when they stop. I grew up in a small town in Montana and loved the fact that I knew everyone. I don’t think I appreciated it as much back then as I do today when I live in a major city where I am lucky to even recognize my neighbors.
I know it is my nostalgia for small towns that led me to create my series of romances set in the fictitious town of Dry Creek, Montana. In this small town there is a café (owned by the wife of a famous musician rock-star), a hardware store (with a black potbellied stove where the older men of the community warm themselves as they drink coffee early in the morning), a white church (in need of a steeple – which I hope to use in an upcoming book), a garage (with a tow truck), and an assortment of fairly old houses. There are no sidewalks in the town and no marked parking places. In fact, there is only one street and that is just the road that comes off the freeway.
I began my series over ten years ago with An Angel for Dry Creek – the story of a woman who came to town and was mistaken for an angel by two little boys who were in desperate need of a mother. I went on to talk about everything from an older couple falling in love (A Dry Creek Courtship) to a disillusioned investigator (A Silent Night for Dry Creek). All of my titles are available as e-books and Harlequin recently reprinted a couple in their Classics line (A Sugar Plum for Dry Creek and At Home in Dry Creek).
Over the years, my readers have had one constant refrain. How can we find Dry Creek so we can live there – or at least visit? That’s the beauty of fictitious small towns. Readers can visit every time they pick up one of the books.
Now that I’ve told you about my small town, I’d love to hear about a favorite small town you might have – it can be real or fictitious. Then let me know what you like about it? Is it the pace of life, the closeness of the people, or some other special thing?
One of Janet Tronstad’s favorite childhood memories is of borrowing Zane Gray novels from her grandfather’s book shelf. Janet, one of five children, grew up on a family farm near Fort Shaw, Montana, a small town with a population less than 200. This small town and the thriving church she attended have been an inspiration for her popular Dry Creek series of books published by Steeple Hill. Sugar Plums for Dry Creek and At Home in Dry Creek was released in December, 2010. A Dry Creek Family novella in Small-Town Moms will be released in March, 2011. Janet holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin and published in various national magazines before starting to write novels.
To find out more about Janet and her books,
please visit http://www.janettronstad.com/