Monday, November 30, 2009
A New Home Town
Anyone who is familiar with the Nashville area knows that Robertson and Sumner counties slam up against each other like long lost sisters at a dinner-on-the-grounds reunion. In my new series, however, which starts with December’s Field of Danger, I’ve squeezed the fictional Bell County between them. It’s a tiny place, with only three small towns—White Hills, Bell’s Springs, and the crossroads community of Caralinda.
Caralinda, while my own fictional creation, is based on the quite real town of Orlinda, Tennessee. And my heroine’s cottage homeplace is based on the home of friend (and my daughter’s caregiver/nurse) Phyllis. In fact, if you look in the upper right corner of the field road photo, you can see Phyllis' house.
While I’d always enjoyed going to Orlinda, writing Field made me fall in love with it. My family is from an equally tiny town in Alabama, so it brought back some grand memories of my childhood and buoyant reunions, including a few dinners-on-the-grounds at the home churches.
I’m often envious of the relationships that Phyllis has with her neighbors. They support and encourage her in a way that’s not often waiting for me in town. She has a home in an amazingly lovely location, complete with an oak tree in the front, a huge willow in the back - and a dog that waits for her return (that's her pup Sarah).
All of that may be one of the reasons I usually write about small towns. While I’m now a city girl, I hope I never forget the joy and beauty of living in a community where everyone knows your name.
Posted by Ramona Richards at 12:09 AM