|The city square in my town|
The mysteries I write are heavily guided by a sense of place. Three different fictional towns—Endurance, Sweet Iron, and soon Apple Grove, are small Illinois towns that have the culture where I grew up and currently live. The stories that resonate remind me of how comforting it is to be surrounded by the familiar. A farmer dies in a farming accident and his neighbors organize to help bring in the crops. Recognized names and places, local politics, and even obituaries of familiar family names form a subconscious framework for my life. The thoughts that appear in my stories are products of seventy-three years in the same area among familiar people, names, and events. It is not the East or West coasts; it is the heartland.
|A block from my house, this tree-covered street|
|An overview of the town|
square, which is really a circle