Debra fell in love with the quaint town she created for her series.
The Corral is the setting for my series. It's a bar based on the actual place my hubby and I met. In the first book (This Time for Always) the majority of the action takes place at the bar or at the hero's home. There are a few other small scenes, but the characters do spend the majority of their time at The Corral. In the second book (This Can't Be Love) the majority of the action takes place away from the bar itself at the heroine's grandfather's house. The hero works at The Corral, so that's our tie-in. In the third book (This Feels Like Home), some of the action takes place at The Corral, but I really started expanding the universe of it so to speak and the town around The Corral began to take shape. It's here we really get a glimpse of what Main Street looks like. We meet Kelly, the proprietress of the dry cleaners. We spend a bit of time at the park at the edge of town. We find out The Corral itself sits on the edge of a field bordering the woods. We spend a bit more time at Bubba's Diner (the other eatery in town). And we spend quite a bit of time at the rodeo ring with our bull rider hero.
When I was done with the series, I wasn't ready to leave my setting behind. So I came up with a spin-off series of holiday stories based at The Corral and in the town. Kelly will be the heroine in my Halloween story. Through Scott's eyes (the hero in the Valentine's Day story) we learn there's a town square and a clock tower. Maggie shows us what the town looks like decorated for Christmas. And in the Fourth of July story we find out how the community comes together to honor those who have served our country.
With each and every story I fall deeper in love with the small town I've created. Two of the holiday stories are contracted. Another is almost ready for submission. And I'm planning two more after that to complete the spin-off series.
But I can't help but wonder, even when those books are done, am I going to be able to let my quaint town go? There's so much more to learn about it. For instance, I'm sure there's a bookstore. (g) And maybe a crafty/house decorating kind of store. What are the teachers like at the high school? A couple of my heroines have gotten or used flowers in their stories...so, there's obviously a florist. Even though it's a small town, the possibilities for its growth are endless.
It will be interesting to see what happens when I write 'the end' for the New Year's Eve story. Will my little town be put to rest? Or will it show up again as the setting for another set of stories? Only time will tell I guess.
Until next time,