There's a lot to love about a small town--both in real life and in romances. I'm writing my first series set in a small town now that I'm writing some Harlequin Superromances, and I have to say, I'm really enjoying it.
Some of the crazy pace of our world makes us crave small town living, I think. If you've sat in a big city traffic jam recently or tried to battle with a big school board in a huge district, you probably would enjoy the small town I've created in Heartache, Tennessee. It's a fictional town, but I pulled in a lot of what I know from growing up in a small farming community and from living in more rural areas.
There's no traffic for one thing. Congested highways don't exist in these idyllic enclaves where the only other traveler on a back road might be a cow that wandered free from a nearby pasture. Of course, you might be slowed down by a tractor, but a friendly farmer will wave you around soon enough.
I also like writing small towns for the chance to know (and love!) so many characters. I'm returning to Heartache for at least three books-- PROMISES UNDER THE PEACH TREE (September 2014), NIGHTS UNDER THE TENNESSEE STARS (April 2015) and an as-yet-to-be-titled third book that should be out in Fall 2015. I introduced characters in Book 1 that I want to put in every book so we can catch up with their stories. It's fun seeing familiar faces in each book.
Another fun bonus is seeing the way people in small towns live. There's not a Wal-Mart in town, so people are more likely to buy locally. Artisans thrive when there is a local customer base. A small town can create its own distinct personality, attracting tourism from visitors who love their homemade pies or delicious peaches, or both. A small town flea market is Etsy come to life. No need to go to Restoration Hardware for authentic farmhouse fixtures (and pay a hefty price) when you can find the real thing in your neighbor's garage sale. Plantation shutters? Rustic doorknobs? They're all available for a fraction of the cost on your Saturday morning rounds.
Best of all, there are a lot of interesting stories in a small town. Some people grew up there and never left. Others couldn't wait to leave an then made their way back home for one reason or another. But everyone's got a story to tell and in a small town, they make time for the telling.
Do you have a favorite small town you like to visit in real life? A place you grew up or where a friend lives? A town you like to visit for their garage sales? Share with me on the blog and I'll give on random poster a copy of book 1 in my new series, PROMISES UNDER THE PEACH TREE.
Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock never met a romance sub-genre she didn't enjoy. The author of over sixty romances from contemporary to medieval historical, Joanne dreams of one day penning a book for every Harlequin series. A former Golden Heart recipient, she has won numerous awards for her stories and looks forward to next month's release UNDERCOVER FESTIVITIES with Tawny Weber. Learn more about Joanne's imaginative Muse by visiting her online: