Lacuna Valley, the setting for Prophecy Girl and the Lacuna Valley series, is a fictional place. Sort of.
I once lived in a place where the wind barely ever blew. It was haunting, the stillness. In the spring there were flowers and bees everywhere, and the place just came alive. In the summer golden fields covered slopes that built up to the rolling hills the surrounded everything. In the fall, brilliant leaves lit up the valley, and there was an audible sigh as the air cooled down. When winter finally came around the snow covered everything, making the still quiet even heavier, and deer wandered between the bare trees. The seasons were so defined. When I wasn't noticing the scenery, I was struck with how strange the place was. It was extremely isolated and that isolation created a microcosm. Everyone seemed to feel that we were far away from the rest of the world, and we were really.
So it wasn't a big surprise when I started writing scenes and I knew right away what the setting was. The very first scene I wrote took place on a bridge, and I can tell you exactly where that bridge is. The next scene I wrote involved a sign that reads "Next Services: 74 Miles". I used to have a picture of that sign hanging up on my wall, as a reminder of that very strange and isolated place.I gave my Lacuna Valley a new name. This let my imagination manipulate things and run wild, but most of the details mentioned throughout Prophecy Girl are all places I have photographs of. There really is a tourist town with a western theme, there really was an eerie stillness to the place, and there really was a No Hunting sign in front of the high school.
While I can't prove that there is a magical force that makes the people of the valley have an earthy disposition, if you went there, you'd have to question whether that might be true as well.
It's an interesting thing, to create a world that you can bring a reader into. As a bit of a traveler, I'm always trying to get people to visit different places, and I feel like in Prophecy Girl I've tried to make that a little bit of an easier trip—no airfare required. Prophecy Girl: Find on Goodreads
Ever since Samantha Winthrop's mother moved them to Lacuna Valley, supposedly in search of better weather, the list of strange questions she has no answers for has been growing out of control.
Does her little sister, Violet, have the ability to make things happen just by "praying" for them? Are Sam's dreams really predicting the future? Is she destined to marry the boy she just met, and what is the mysterious orb that he's guarding? Why does she get the impression that there are dangerous creatures watching from the woods?
While Sam should be focusing on answering those questions, there is one other that makes them seem almost irrelevant: Is her mother planning on killing her and Violet?Goodreads
I write stories about characters with real world struggles in otherworldly settings.
Before I knew how to form letters on the page, I scribbled lines that looked like writing on page after page, bound them together, and handed them to people. I think that most writers tend to have a moment from their younger years they look back on and think, aha! it was destiny, and this is the earliest of mine.
I wrote a book with characters that struggle with the idea of having a destiny called PROPHECY GIRL. In comparison, I really lucked out that my destiny was to struggle with comma placement and be that awkward lady who points out puns at parties.