Today is August, 19, 2009, five days until the official publication of my debut novel, GONE FROM THESE WOODS. Of course I’m getting excited and I hope you are, too.
In celebration of the publication, I’m going to talk today about the woods in GFTW. My inspiration for the woods in my book came from my early morning exercise walks around my neighborhood, and especially from my own yard. One of the reasons my family bought this 3 l/2 acres of property back in 1992 was the woods in the front yard. There’s a pine straw covered path through those front yard woods. We walked there when we were considering our purchase and felt as if we were walking in a secluded, private woods, even though the main road was close by. The tall pines, dotted with a few hardwoods, were (and are) home to three different kinds of woodpeckers, plus many other birds and other wildlife. The sounds of the trees, the scent of pine in the air — we found all this and more in our outdoor sanctuary. So, when I needed woods for my book setting, I found them in my own front yard.

Here’s an excerpt from the beginning of chapter seven of GONE FROM THESE WOODS:

“The woods took me in, hiding me in pine-scented darkness as I ran, my moccasins crunching pinecones on the path, my ears full of night sounds from unseen animals.

After a while, I had to stop. Panting hard and hugging myself to keep warm, I strained my eyes, trying to see where I was. All around me, trees swayed, making soft sounds in the air, like they were breathing.

Somewhere up ahead, something — maybe an owl — screeched. The hairs on the back of my neck bristled. Maybe I should go back to the house . . .”

If you want to read more, pick up a copy of GONE FROM THESE WOODS starting August 25, 2009, at your local bookstore. If they don’t have GFTW in stock, ask them to order it, or order it yourself from your favorite online bookseller.

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