The Roost and Crow Café, at the corner of Main Street and Apple, is the focal point of Mt. Vista, Indiana, population 931-and-a-half (Mr. and Mrs. Pfennigan are expecting their fifth baby). Leora Frumple is chief cook and owner of the restaurant, well-known for its black raspberry pie and strong coffee. Daughters Dorsy and Gertrude help their mama out.
Across the street is Earl and Bett London's Candy Kitchen, open from April Fool's Day through Thanksgiving Eve, and Wildman's 5 & 10. Before the Depression set in, Earl's brother Bill owned London Department Store, but he had to sell out. Now it's the Mt. Vista Public Library, though the sign over the door still reads London Department Store.
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Is Mt. Vista a real place? Depends on how you define "real." It's real to me. And to the folks who live and work there, including Matilda (Tillie) Rose Pickle, main character of my third middle-grade novel, The Daddy Letters.
I'm doing the pre-writing grunt work right now--drawing out the plot, planning the dastardly deeds that plague Tillie, giving a pulse to the people in the story, and building the town. This is fun stuff.
|Tillie Pickle's house.|
In my two previous stories, the protagonists interact with a limited number of secondary and peripheral characters. They're both set in very rural areas. In this third work, Tillie and her family live on a small farm just outside the town limits of Mt. Vista. On her rusty green bike it takes three minutes to get from her house to the "Welcome to Mt. Vista" sign. Another five minutes and she's past the "Thanks for Shopping in Mt. Vista! Please come back!" sign and on her way to Pearlie June Firkins's place. Pearlie June--poor thing--is Tillie's number one best friend.
Did I happen to mention that this is fun stuff? Feel free to leave comments. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Because of Jesus,