I am just wondering, how did you choose the setting for The Mill River Recluse?
Hi, Deb! Thanks for your question. There were actually a few reasons I decided to set "The Mill River Recluse" in a small town in southern Vermont. First, I grew up in small towns, so I felt comfortable writing about one. I also love snow -- I was born in Wisconsin and lived there until I was a child -- and snow still makes me happy. So, I definitely wanted a place with cold winters and warm fireplaces. :)
What sealed the deal for Vermont -- in addition to the facts that it is full of lovely small towns and has harsh winters -- was its town meeting tradition. Under state law, every small town in Vermont holds a town meeting in early March. Residents of the towns attend the meetings to vote on the town budget and other matters of importance.
In "The Mill River Recluse," I was looking for a way for Father O'Brien to be able to make an important announcement to all of the residents gathered together, and the town meeting was the perfect way for him to do that. So...Vermont it was! :)