One of the first things to consider when writing a new book is the setting. Since my books are usually somewhat autobiographical, maybe it isn't surprising that Golden Man is set in Wimberley, Texas, a small town in the Texas Hill Country located between Austin and San Antonio.
My husband's family has had a home on Cypress Creek outside of Wimberley for over fifty years, so it's an area I've come to love. Since the family has expanded, several cousins and in-laws now have homes on the icy, emerald-green creek fed by a spring starting at Jacob's Well, which hopefully will flow over our dam for many years to come.
Four generations have enjoyed our rope swing, dam, the music of cicadas and the family swimming hole. Of late our immediate family has celebrated Christmases at Wimberley because it is more centrally located than South Texas where I live and therefore more accessible to family members flying home to Texas.
At some point, Wimberley claimed a big piece of my soul. One of my favorite places in France is Provence - because it smells exactly like Wimberley had has limestone cliffs and sparkling rivers that remind me of the Texas Hill Country.
I have spent so many perfect afternoons after a family picnic lying on a chaise lounge atop the green lawn beside "our" creek with an ice chest full of drinks at my side. I love to sip and read and then when I get too hot, I take a soothing dip in our idyllic swimming hole. Sometimes I float on a raft downstream to the next swimming hole, then walk or swim back.
A day at the creek, is like going to the beach, but instead you hang out on a grassy, shady bank beneath tall cypress trees. Thus, you never get sunburned. In the evening, a lone heron flies low above the clear waters on its way to its nest.
Maybe it isn't surprising I set one of my love scenes in Golden Man at the creek!
Many family members have retired in the Texas Hill Country. Reasons to move to this part of Texas include lovely winter weather, chilly streams, hills, gorgeous wildflowers, summer float trips on those icy streams, the legendary Gruene Dance Hall, and plentiful wildlife, along with the close proximity of San Antonio and Austin. A few reasons to reconsider a move might be the summer heat and terrible flash floods that sometimes take lives, and the ever constant concerns about a plentiful future water supply.
But it's the creek that has a hold on our family's heart.