In reviews, readers often comment about the town of Alpine Grove, which although imaginary does have some similarities to the small town where I live in northern Idaho. I even had one reader say she wants to move to Alpine Grove. There’s no doubt that many people would love to move to a small town for the peace, quiet and sense of community.
I know I did.
In both my first novel, Chez Stinky, and the second, Fuzzy Logic, the main characters are actually transplants from somewhere else who subsequently fall in love with small town life and decide to stay.
I think that’s true of many small towns. Where I live in Idaho, I have met only a few “natives” that actually grew up in this area. As a result, a popular topic of conversation is “how did you end up here?” Realistically, a town of 7,000 people is not exactly an employment mecca, so in most cases people have specifically chosen to live here.
Because it is such a key question in small towns, my books also include the answer to the question, “how did you get here?” as story elements.
- In Chez Stinky, Kat Stevens had been a tech writer but inherits a house in Alpine Grove.
- In Fuzzy Logic, Jan Carpenter graduates from college with a degree in library science and can’t find a job anywhere except at the tiny Alpine Grove library, which it turns out she loves.
Most of the people I have met here in Idaho have a similar story. They move out here to the middle of nowhere, decide they love it, and never want to leave. We started a business so we could move here in the first place and not be dependent on the (nonexistent) local economy.
Since 1996, technology has made it possible for us to do freelance work from our bedroom offices in our log home in the woods. Even with feeble bandwidth that makes other people cringe, we have managed to find ways to make money for almost two decades and through two nasty recessions.
In much the same way, the characters in all three of my novels have to figure out a way to continue to live in their small town of Alpine Grove. So readers, be advised that the little town of Alpine Grove is likely to turn into quite a little hotbed of entrepreneurial activity!