Real Life Inspiration

Before I switch gears and turn my focus to my new book, Floating Loose, which is scheduled to be released on June 28, 2016, I wanted to do this post, which I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the real life places that were inspirational in one way or another when I was writing Legacy of the Dog.

Picture the Donovan’s house on the left and the stable on the right. Plenty of space for everyone to park in between.

A view out across the field. Imagine grass instead of…are those soybeans? In the distance, the woods that they walk through to get to the stream.

When I began writing about the Donovan’s property, I was describing the way everyone came up the long drive and parked between the house and the stable, which were across the driveway from each other. As I was picturing it and doing my best to give a feel for it in words, I realized that the place I was describing was my cousin’s farm in Michigan. He’s a dairy farmer and also grows corn and soybeans, among other things. He and his family are completely awesome–some of my favorite people in the world! Once I realized that I was describing their property, it was fun to picture exactly how the Donovan’s property was arranged against that backdrop.


white hawk

Their town gets a name. White Hawk, Colorado

For my first two books, when I was choosing a place for the stories to occur, I first chose an area of the country. I went pretty specific and found actual spots on the map. And then I made up town names, which is a lot harder than it sounds. You’d be surprised how many of the town names you make up already exist. Give it a try sometime. For Legacy of the Dog, I chose Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains and then began the search for a name. In the end, I picked a name that had the feel I was looking for, which was sort of rugged and outdoorsy. It also happens to be the name of a country club in a neighboring town.

In the final scene of the story, when Ty and Jessie finally get a chance to be alone and talk, they go to a park with a small lake and a walking path. There are fountains in the lake and lots of trees and benches. And again, I was describing it before I realized that I had an actual place in my head. This park is two or three towns over from where I live, but it’s close to my brother’s house and I go by fairly frequently. I made a special trip over there the other day to take some pictures for this post.

Centennial Park 2

The park with the walking path and fountains.

Centennial Park 3

Where Ty and Jessie finally got things figured out between them.

Of course, whenever you read a story, you conjure up your own pictures in your mind of what everything looks like. Do these pictures look anything like what you pictured when you read it? If you haven’t read it, go ahead. You can get back to me when you’re finished. I’ll wait.   😀







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