I love to travel, and long lonely roads are sometimes the best times to think about stories and to plug ideas together. One long drive on I-70 through the empty miles of Utah, the only distractions were the very infrequent roadsigns. But I noticed that “Ranch Exit” happened frequently, all on signs just like the exits for towns. With a smile, I considered the possibility that there really was a small community named “Ranch Exit”, but if that were the case, then something reality bending would have to be going on to see all those signs, dozens of miles apart, all leading to the same place.
That was the germ of the idea, and the rest was researching the maps to find the place to set my fictional Ranch Exit community. Reality bending was more in the realm of fantasy than science fiction, but I tried to put as much logic behind the process as I could, writing the story as if it were science fiction, even if that weren’t really possible. It also gave me the chance to look at some of our cultural givens, like credit cards, from a quite different perspective.
But the characters came alive for me, and that’s the important part. The first scene was easy, since it was from my life. We have a horse than has to be fed every day, and it’s not unusual to spot a mouse loitering around the barrel that contains the feed.
And as long as I was bending a little reality in the story, I was inspired to copy the quirky signs and outdoor art that is part of real life in Amarillo, Texas.
But once the story started rolling, keeping my own reality straight in the story-line was quite an exercise. If reality changes for your characters, you have nail that down to get it written correctly.
The cover on this book showed up with a whimsical twist that was just right for the story.
So, with a smile that always comes from a quirky story, Follow That Mouse is my favorite.
Next up — My Favorite Book: Pixie Dust