If you follow my writing, you know that small towns play a significant role in all my books. It's probably because I have lived most of my life in a small town in New York. So while Monroe has grown exponentially in the forty-plus years I have been here, you will still have areas of that small-town feel that come across to me.
In my MC series Cosantoir books, a lot of the action takes place in the village of Harriman, where I live now and a part of the town of Monroe. Harriman itself is pretty small, but it works as the ideal setting for what I want to do in my books. I use a large portion of the surrounding area in the entire series and as inspiration in my other books. You'll find locations in Chester, Greenwood Lake, Monroe, Rockland County, Westchester County, Bear Mountain State Park, Harriman State Park, and many other spots nearby. If you are from this area, the recognition helps to make the books come alive and more fun to read.
You will always find small-town business in my books to go along with the small-town aspect. Local businesses are the backbone of our culture today, and I do my best to support locals whenever possible. Not only do I try to shop and promote these places, but I use many of them in books as settings or for scenes. For example, in my upcoming book, Demon, you will find mentions of almost twenty businesses in and around the Monroe area. Some of my favorites include:
There are many others sprinkled throughout all the Cosantoir books that you will find if you are familiar with Monroe, Harriman, or the Hudson Valley. Part of what makes writing these books fun is discovering ways to incorporate the nearby attractions and businesses into the story.
I can promise you that you will always find my neighborhood in whatever I write in one form or another. Writing what you know is not only a great way to begin the writing process, but it can help you create a more refreshing atmosphere that connects well with the readers of your stories. So I'll keep doing it as long as it works well!
Oh, and I almost forgot, before I wrap up for the day, how about a little teaser regarding my upcoming book, Demon? So take a look and have a great day!