Mary Vine always brings tidbits of history, a little suspense, and a great relationship to her sweet, inspirational novels. One of the things I love about her books is the setting in North Eastern Oregon among the rugged mountains, the desolate high desert, and the small towns that may have existed in the old west. An afficianado of ghost towns, Mary always takes the reader to an unexpected place.
Please join me in welcoming Mary Vine to behind the book as she talks about her new novella, Wanting More.
What was the spark that led you to come up with this story, and how did that spark blossom through your characters?
I own two lots on Main Street in the ghost town of Bourne, Oregon. It is an old gold mining town in Northeast Oregon. It is a place you can sit and listen to the creek and think about what must have gone on there from 1862 through the early 1900s. The second step in putting this story together came from two Asperger's syndrome students that I taught awhile back. Both had an interest in the Civil War and as the story was coming together in my mind, I asked them questions. The hero in my story is fresh from being a doctor during the war and has escaped to the mining area to perhaps try his hand at finding gold and heal his inner wounds.
It seems that most authors use something from their own lives, or the lives of people they know as an integral part of the story. Is there anything in this story like that? If so, what?
My father has five brothers and one sister. Some families cherish their only girl and treat her like a princess (like my aunt) and other families have a kick-butt kind of girl that tries to keep up or outdo her brothers. My heroine is mostly the latter and a fun character to write.
Is there a particular scene in this book that you really loved when you finished it? Which one and why?
Actually there are two scenes that come to mind since the book went to print. One is how the heroine flirts with the good doctor when she is under the influence of the “medicine.” The other is towards the end of the story when her brothers come to bring her home. They roll her up in blankets next to their campfire, and take turns keeping watch so she doesn’t outsmart them and get away. I suppose it’s the humor I like in these situations.
You've written about a number of historical places in the Pacific Northwest. What is it about ghost towns that so intrigues you?
My father always said to invest in real estate. In the summer of ’96 my husband and I looked across the state of Oregon for affordable river front property and bought some acreage between Baker City and Sumpter. We spent every chance we could four wheeling amongst the junipers, pines, firs and rocky crags. My husband’s interest was in panning for gold, while I was enamored with the decaying buildings, the caves, or equipment left behind in the mining districts and still visible today.
I’m working on a contemporary story once again set in NE Oregon, having to do with a clash between the mayor and an attorney who just passed his bar and taking a much earned vacation. He is looking for Spanish treasure on the outskirts of the fictional town of Salisbury Junction that I’ve used in two of my other stories.
That next book sounds intriguing too. I'll have to add it to my pile when it comes out. Thanks for joining us at Behind the Book.
You can find Mary Vine's latest book at these fine retailers. Also be sure to check out her previous titles: Maya's Gold and A Place to Land for more wonderful historicals that take place in NE Oregon.