Authors do a lot of thinking before they put the first word on the page. A common prompt is “What if?” another is “Where?”
When starting the story that became my first published novel — I spent a lot of time figuring out “Where” and “Who” and “Why”
I wanted a peaceful place, tending on boring at first glance, but where turmoil is just below the surface.
So what’s a place that should be quiet and dull? How about a Christmas tree farm in January, when all the hub-bub of cutting and shipping and sales is done for the year and planting and sheering and summer work is months away. Should be an easy place for a city relative to mind a few animals and take a couple weeks to find mental balance.
However…this is a small town romance with a hint of suspense…so anything can happen.
A reunion and second chances are interrupted by gunshots.
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