I love Autumn. It’s my favorite season with its mild temps, low humidity, and colorful leaves. The other day I was posting about my love of the season when I realized that while I was writing about my memories of the season, I was describing settings in my books. Not surprising, really, but fascinating in its own way. Whether it’s a special place the writer would like to visit, or some version of a place from their personal history, the places that exist in a writer’s mind often end up on the page.
I grew up at the end of a dead-end road. The property beyond belonged to the railroad and had areas of wetlands, so for many years it was protected from development. I spent most of my childhood in those woods, sometimes with siblings and friends. Many times on my own. Where the backyard ended and the woods began, you didn’t have to go far into the woods before you found the old wagon tracks. Those tracks led to the creek and continued across it and up the slope to a ridge. At the top of the ridge the woods opened up to an old pond and a collapsed house. Beyond that was the saw mill and the actual train tracks, and was the usual limit of my territorial range.
Within those woods were countless worlds. Two of those worlds I recall were a grove of young pines with the pristine mat of pine needles carpeting the ground beneath them, and also an area that had been burned out in a prior year where suddenly pink Lady’s Slippers bloomed profusely. I tried to transplant a couple and my mom told me they wouldn’t survive. They didn’t, but mysteriously, many years later, one of those wild orchids suddenly grew where we’d planted the ones that didn’t. Both of those places exist in Cub Creek and Leaving Cub Creek. Yet, Cub Creek is a real place, too, in Louisa County, Virginia. It’s as if my memories exist on an old-fashioned transparency sheet that overlays the current Cub Creek area and the two have melded. I have the best of two worlds, the benefits of both, to decorate the scenes in which my characters play out their stories. Sometimes, writing, is almost like going home. Sometimes, even better.
The Happiness In Between is the next Cub Creek book. It’s a standalone single title, and due for release January 31, 2017. It’s available now for preorder.
Grace Greene is an award-winning and USA Today bestselling author of women’s fiction and contemporary romance set in the rolling hills and forests of her native Virginia (Kincaid’s Hope, Cub Creek) and the breezy beaches of Emerald Isle, North Carolina (Beach Rental, Beach Winds). Her debut novel, Beach Rental, and the sequel, Beach Winds, were both Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. She is the also the author of The Happiness in Between (release date: January 31, 2017), a standalone also set in Cub Creek. For more about the author and her books, visit www.gracegreene.com or connect with her on Twitter at @Grace_Greene and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GraceGreeneBooks.