Reading a book of fiction is like traveling through time and space; writing a book of fiction is like traveling with the wings of an explorer. In my writing, those wings take me through fields of reality and into the lives of people who recognize we are all dependent upon the earth, water, and sunshine for our daily bread. My stories are about people who work hard, often starting before sun-up and ending after sundown to provide for their family. I write of people who reap the benefit of a valuable harvest from a garden, a field, or a life.
In my book, Christmas Rose, a child named Rosie feels at home in a care center for the elderly. The life lessons she learns and teaches are basic, valuable glimpses into the human heart. After Christmas Rose became an award-winning book I submitted a young adult novel to my publisher. When my editor said the adult readers loved the story but their youth readers couldn’t relate to a farm girl, I was surprised but didn’t realize it was a symptom of a greater problem. Later, a friend recommended that in order to find a publisher in the children’s market, I needed to change my protagonist from a cow to a non-agricultural animal because we are no longer an “agrarian society.” She knew that most of the people who work for publishers have a very limited understanding or appreciation for a country way of life. Their genres are set and well defined according to certain standards. Now, several years and many manuscripts later, I realize that the stories I write based on hard working, country people and realistic situations are for those who love country living.
It is clear from the number of farm magazines sent to our house each month there is a great deal of interest in publishing for the country/agricultural market. However, it is difficult to find fiction based on contemporary, country characters. Given my present understanding, I have decided to take advantage of publishing outside the mainstream market so that I may spread my wings to explore and share my stories. If you are interested in true-to-life country stories, I write Country Fiction for you. Perhaps, when there is a proven interest in Country Fiction, authors and readers will propel it into a recognized genre.