Since I am not a native of Northern California, my favorite thing to do on weekends is explore the area’s many small towns (I had no idea there were so many). It’s a happy surprise when you discover a new one, because when most people think of Northern California they think of San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, perhaps Silicon Valley or the Pacific Ocean, not well-preserved historic communities.
Not only do I enjoy exploring small towns, I also like to read stories that take place in small towns; and, the contemporary fiction stories that I write take place in small towns (where the town is one of the book’s characters).
So when I needed a place to set my story, THE HERMIT BOOKSTORE, I instantly thought of Lotus (population 295), a community that dates back to California’s gold rush days (165 years ago). Lotus has one main road, Lotus Road, a few old farmhouses, a friendly vibe, and lots of residual spirit energy left over from the California Gold Rush.
THE HERMIT BOOKSTORE is a modern day story that evolves over the span of a week in April 2014. The story is about a mysterious bookstore that suddenly appears on Lotus Road where an old farmhouse used to be. There’s a quirky bookstore owner, Jolene, who meets three people who live in Lotus. These three characters need to fix a piece of their life but can’t seem to do it without a little push. Jolene happens to know what they need and how to push them in the right direction.