Last night I finished the first chapter in book two of a series set in the town of Peachland, British Columbia — Sunflowers and Sweet Peas. I’m excited to be working on this new series, and am excited to start publishing them in 2021. Mind you, when I do, disclaimers will seriously apply. I’ve been excited to feature local events, local locations to some extent, actual local bands, local concerns, and today, Castanet gave me ideas for local news. When using real names, I’ve gotten consent — such as with my friend, Lowell’s band, VonReason ( https://youtu.be/tXmH8OEZxdc ), and everything else is pretty much made up or embellished for the sake of fiction.
My goal with this series is not only to showcase a town I love, but also to discuss on a very micro, fictional level, real issues in the Okanagan, where I live. Subjects such as homelessness, forest fires, housing costs, urban planning and development, resource management, as well as recreation, arts, small business ownership, health and wellness are all fair game for within these novels. So, when it happens, is real local news.
This afternoon on Castanet there appeared an article about vandalism in Peachland. This is the sort of thing which builds a novel. First, I get some characters, some basic themes, then I fill in the details. This tagger just added one to Sunflowers and Sweet Peas — you will have to read the book when it comes out next year in order to get my assessment on what he did here.
News stories like these also focus the research I do with a novel. I hadn’t particularly planned to talk about murals — well, actually, I had, just not in this book — but now that I will be, I need to learn how to deal with removing paint from a mural. And so, I found this link, which, although technically a commercial, is also pretty cool.