Monday, February 29, 2016

Tonya Kappes: Small Towns

I grew up in a small town, and like most I couldn't wait to get out and explore the vast world. Only....the vast world was only two hours from my small town to a city near Cincinnati, Ohio, still in Kentucky.

The older I got I became to appreciate the small town and what it meant to me. I realized moving to a larger city life has become very busy, hustle and bustle, smog, violence, you know.

When I decided to become a writer, I knew I wanted to base a series around a small town and the people in it.

Let's take a look at what you will find in a small town. First you will notice there isn't any traffic, only a few straggling cars. But people! The people are walking around the town with little fear of safety. So much so you can almost feel it. They say hello to you and give you eye contact. They ask about your family, and invite you over to pick some berries or tomatoes out of their garden.

And the buildings! How amazing are those old buildings. They are the core of the town. Generally small town buildings are compact, well organized and centered around the city building. It embraces you, giving you that welcome feel. There is a sense of belonging. And that feels good!

Did you take a big deep breath? No? Well do! How about that?

Fresh air! Clean fresh air. Free of smog!

Have you seen a small town school? Yes, there is no barbed wire around it, or metal detectors. Just kids all over the school yard, laughing, eating, and making jokes. Harmless. The building itself is small, with few teachers, but that's because there are fewer children in small towns. As you can read on the school's marque, the upcoming dances, PTA meetings, and other school spirit activities taking place.

Then there are the business. Local, homegrown doctor (who might be a vet too), locally owned grocery store, feed and seed, post office, and florist.

These are just a few reasons why small communities are being sought after. People are wanting the hometown, good salt of the earth life for their families. Most of these communities are only a hop, skip, and jump away from larger cities where most the families travel to work.

These communities offer charm, a sense of humanity. When someone is sick, the entire community jumps in and helps the family. No matter how hard I try to make this happen in my community, it just doesn't happen. Of course my kids are great, and we love our neighbors, school, and jobs, but there's something to be said about the love and warmth of a small town.

The Magical Cures Mystery Series is  set in my fictitious small town of Whispering Falls, Kentucky. I've built a community around the lives of the residents there who happen to be a village of witches. They own cozy shops that is a "front" for their witchy gift. June Heal, the main character, is a potion maker and her shop A CHARMING CURE is a homeopathic cure shop. When a customer comes in for a homeopathic lotion, June's gift of intuition tells her what the real issue is with the customer. The customer might come in for a bad case of heartburn, but in reality the customer might be heartbroken. Throw in a couple of dead bodies and a charming mystery is created!

Do you live in a small town? Do you like to visit small towns in your reading?

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

I live right outside the limits of a small town--love it!