Thursday, January 20, 2011

One of My Favorite Characters Isn't Really a Character

By Andrew Grey
I’ve developed many characters for my stories, people with varied pasts and experiences and I’ve even created a number of animal characters including horses, dogs, a deer, and even a lion, but the most amazing character I’ve ever developed is a place, or more clearly, a farm. In the Love Means… stories, Laughton Farms isn’t just the setting for the stories, it’s a place with a unique feeling that allows my human characters to heal, find peace, or fall in love. When I began writing these stories, I didn’t set out to create a place like this, it simply happened over time and I only realized what I’d created when readers began writing me asking if there was an inspiration for Laughton Farms and how they wished they could move there.

The real Laughton Farms, or at least the inspiration for Laughton Farms, does exist outside Ludington Michigan. It happens to be the farm across the street from where I grew up. As a teenager, I cleaned stalls, swept the barn, and even rode horses there. It was also there, at four AM one wintery morning that I got to witness something amazing, the birth of a colt. At the time, I thought my job there was simply hard work and a way to make money, but now I realize just how special that time was for me. Life was much slower, definitely less complicated, and quite frankly, stunningly beautiful in its relative simplicity.

For me, Laughton Farms is a calm place and I go there when I need a respite from the world. I’ve written over three dozen stories, but Laughton Farms is where my imagination takes me when I need peace. I’d like to think we all have a place like Laughton Farms where we can go when we need to recharge our batteries, fall in love, or just feel the power of a horse beneath us and the wind through our hair. And that’s one of the beauties of being a writer, because if you don’t have your own place like that, I can share mine.

To learn more you can find me at:
My web site: http://www.andrewgreybooks.com/
Blog: http://andrewgreybooks.livejournal.com/
I'm also andrewgreybooks on twitter
And you can find me on Facebook.


Tina Donahue said...

I love stories where the writer creates a vivid sense of place that seems real in my mind as I read. Great post, Andrew. What story did you write that had a lion in it?

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I loved your blog, Andrew. In a time of texting, computers and an emotionally disconnected society, a town of peace and healing could be a beautiful thing. I can see why you would want to draw on that special past experience to use as inspiration for a story.

Paris said...

Great blog, Andrew. I realized a while ago that there are certain books that I read over and over again and one of the reasons is that besides the wonderful characters, the author has created a town or time period that I love and want to visit more than once. I'm looking forward to finding out more about Laughton Farms.

Redameter said...

Andrew in a fast pace time when we think we don't have time to wipe our noses, you've recreated another Mayberry place for us. Thanks, in this busy world it's nice to know there are still those peaceful little places people can go to forget it all. Lovely

Love and blessings

Rawiya said...

Great blog post Andrew. It's wonderful when you can create a peace place in your head for your stories!


LaviniaLewis said...

I adore the farm series. Andrew has created a sanctuary even I would love to live in. The difficult thing for me was reading Courage and already knowing the outcome of Len and Cliff's story after having read No Shame. I haven't read No Fear yet but it is next on my list. I can't wait to visit Laughton Farm once again!

Marie Rose Dufour said...

The setting of a story sometimes is one of the most important "characters". Imagine Dorothy without the "land of Oz" or Charlotte's Web without Zuckerman's Farm, places have lives of their own! Great blog!

Carol L. said...

Enjoyed your post Andrew. And thanks for sharing your Farm. I love connecting to the characters and their special place. Maybe I'll borrow your farm for the weekend because I need a place to go relax . :)
Carol L

Andrew Grey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Grey said...

Thank you so much for your comments. They're appreciated and I'm so pleased my Love Means... stories mean alot to people.

Tina - In A Shared Range I introduced Schian, a retired circus lion. He becomes a character in A Troubled Range (Coming in March)

Lavinia - I understand. I usually have people read Courage first.

Carol - You can borrow it any time. I go there for peace and it really works.

Estella said...

I enjoyed the post.

Andrew Grey said...

Thank you Estella.

Judy said...

I really enjoyed your post!! You are a new author to me. I am going to check out your website and books.

Andrew Grey said...

Thanks Judy. Please let me know if you have questions and I hope you give one of my stories a try and make some new friends.