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Since there are three days left this week, and since the first three excerpts from the book have been released, I’ve decided to write a about each section for each day and explain a little bit if the background for that portion and the things that led to them. Today’s the Prologue’s turn.
As previously mentioned, this final version of Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway has greatly morphed over the past near two years. I call this the 27th version, but there’s really no way to know for sure. My siblings have been helping me every step of the way with timely suggestions and thoughtful critiques.
Along about version 23, so pretty late in the process, I was asked where the Hideaway was. “In the middle of nowhere,” I answered.
My siblings were surprised. To a person, they imagined it in a town not unlike the town in which I lived. What?! It was my turn to be surprised, because in my mind it was more like a cozy island, where other people, other strangers, rarely show. After all, this was my first (okay, 23rd) stab at a book, and one thing I’ve learned is that the more characters there are, the trickier things get. I knew that having the Hideaway in a town would mean more characters and dialogue to juggle.
But alrighty, then! Challenge accepted!
I am not a native to my beloved Rolfe. Still, I knew there was a bit of history there and I’ve seen signs for “Old Rolfe” (after several attempts, I finally found it!). Enter the Rolfe, Iowa website, and especially the history page. Voila! In it’s history, Rolfe has moved! Because of the train tracks that originally passed it by! This could work. I decided to add a prologue to the book to set the stage, and rather than moving the Hideaway to the town, I would bring the town to the Hideaway.
I also knew that I wanted the town’s name to start with an “R,” and to reflect the no frills, warm and friendly yet keep-to-themselves, salt of the earth people that make up Iowa. And it had to be a name currently not in use for an Iowa town. Enter Reliance.
It’s also true that when the freeway was built, Rolfe almost decided to move once again. I borrowed (with permission) a line from the website, “Too many changes can kill a small town.”
And that my dear and cherished friends, is the History of the Prologue and how Reliance came to be. Otherwise, the Hideaway would have remained in the Middle of Nowhere.
Tomorrow: Chapter 1