Today I’m continuing to count down to the official publication date, August 25, 2009, for my debut novel, GONE FROM THESE WOODS, by writing a note. Today’s note is about the Tennessee connections in my book.
Daniel’s mom is a native of Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee, a real town near Chattanooga. Over 30 years ago, my parents and younger sister, Leanne, moved to Cleveland, Tennessee, about 30 or so miles from Chattanooga, when my dad was named postmaster there. This is where my Tennessee connection in GONE FROM THESE WOODS comes from. I’ve been visiting the area for many years and love the mountains and natural beauty there. And the beautiful town and road names, many from the area’s Indian heritage. Sadly enough, my mom and I follow some of the Trail of Tears route when we take the back way to Chattanooga for shopping at Hamilton Place Mall and McKay’s Used Bookstore. I always feel sadness when I see the historic maker on the side of the road and remember the history of that time.

In addition to the Tennessee native mom in my book and the town name, Soddy-Daisy, there are two Tennessee Road names transplanted into my Georgia setting: Mouse Creek Road and Hooper Gap Road. Sure, we have lots of great road names in Georgia, too. But I couldn’t resist “borrowing” some of the Tennessee names I’ve admired over the years for my debut novel.

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