Tuesday, July 9, 2013

the setting

I came up with the idea for this book about a year ago, and although a real life situation and real life people inspired it, it is a work of fiction. That's going to be very important for everyone to remember because I have no doubt that friends and family will be looking for themselves amongst my characters. There might be little snippets and shadows of people here and there, but the one genuine article is the setting.

Greencastle is a small town in Putnam County in West Central Indiana. It's where I grew up and lived for about 30 years of my life. Ever hear the John Mellencamp song "Small Town?" Yeah, it's kinda like that.

Educated in a small town
Taught to fear Jesus in a small town
Used to daydream in that small town
Another born romantic that's me

I'm going to do other posts about the premise and the characters but I wanted to start here, with Greencastle, because it will be the heart of the book. It's the place where most of my memories live and I hope to capture the essence of it, especially during the years of my "coming of age," which will be 1988-1992 in the book.

When I was home last month, my girlfriend and I drove around Putnam County taking photographs of different places that will be represented in the book. These included the high school (which, for the record, I did not attend, but the characters in my book do) my church, DePauw University, Dunbar Bridge, and Four Arches. I'll be posting some of these pictures on the Facebook page for the book as I go along. They are more for me than for the reader. I want to have clear visions in my head when I write.

So for those of you who live or have lived in Greencastle, Indiana, I'm curious, what places or memories stand out for you? What's the one thing you think of when you think of Greencastle?


  1. I always remember the first trip to Dairy Castle each spring. It was a ritual that it seems everyone did. Also, attending the fair parade. The bands from the schools were always in the parade and it seemed like we knew half of the people on the floats (remember that there was always a float with all the guys from Steve's car wash??). The fair itself was the social event of the year.

    1. Oh yes, I got a photo of Dairy Castle too! There is definitely going to be mention of the fair too :)

  2. When I think of Greencastle I think of how it was growing up in such a small community where everyone knows everyone. I loved how you can take a walk or go for a drive and people wave or stop to visit. It always felt like home. Ofcourse, there is always a lot more gossip as well to keep the townsfolk busy.
    When I moved here I thought it was so cool to have covered bridges. I lived right down the road from Houck Bridge and we used to walk there as a family on family dinner Sundays. We used to swim and fish under the bridge. I really appreciate all the experiences I have had since we moved to Greencastle. As an adult, I talk about moving away but think that I would feel out of place anywhere else.

    1. I hope I can capture that small-town feel you describe. The characters will be flashing back to all the shenanigans they got into as teenagers and of course part of that will be knowing that there are plenty of people watching who will gossip.

      My dad was a businessman in the community and my mother a public school teacher so naturally a lot of people knew who I was. Now that I have moved away and gotten to experience anonymity I have to say that I kind of like anonymity LOL.