I’ve written a lot of books. They’ve been set in small Florida towns with mystical histories, in South Jersey college towns, in senior citizen communities in central Florida, in New Orleans, in a small farming community west of Savannah, Georgia, and even in San Francisco circa 1967.
But when Fifty Frogs came to me, it clearly took place much closer to home . . . in my own backyard, as a matter of fact. Quite literally.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This story happens in other areas of the small central Florida town of Summer Meadows as well, but some of the key scenes take place just outside my back door.
What’s odd is that usually, when I’m deep in a story, I live in that setting. I can tell you details about it, how it’s laid out, all the subtle nuances. But this time, I felt a bit like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; I didn’t have to go any further than my own backyard.
I love living on a lake, and so does Vivian. I’m blessed to spend many evenings sitting by the water, enjoying a pre-dinner drink or post-dinner coffee with my husband. It’s peaceful and lovely and very romantic.
Of course, there are a few little drawbacks . . . and some of them come in the form of critters. Vivian runs into one in particular. Oddly, we hadn’t seen any of this particular creature around our yard in reality until after I wrote Vivian’s scene–but we have since. Perhaps fiction informed real life!
But I do know one thing for sure: I’ll always think of Vivian and Charlie when I glance over to the bench in the adjacent yard . . .