My (and Hope’s) New York State

This week I’m spending time in one of my favorite places—the Adirondack Mountains—and the inspiration for the setting of my WIP Hope. We are near the hamlet of Indian Lake in the southwestern part of the Adirondack Park, one of the largest forest preserves in the country.

Now most people think New York City when someone mentions “New York.” But the city is only a very small part of the state, and the rest of New York is geographically stunning, a seasonal smorgasbord of sights and smells, of flora and fauna, and one of the most peaceful places I know.

When the first threads of Hope’s story were forming I immediately thought of the Adirondacks as the perfect setting. Readers might think of Appalachia when they first meet Hope, but I know the Adirondacks (which are part of the larger Appalachian chain) and rural New York more intimately than the more familiar Appalachian towns to the south. To locals, the fictional locations—the town of Fischer’s Landing, the Barstow mines, and the larger village of Hudsonville—will be easily recognized.

I am intimately acquainted with rural New York life, with Hope, her religious upbringing, the culture of the time. No, I’m not one-hundred-something years old. But many of these rural beliefs and traditions extended into the fifties and sixties, and that’s a time I did experience.

If you’ve never seen “the rest” of New York State, if you’ve never experienced the beauty—the awe—of the Adirondack Mountains, the Finger Lakes, or the southern Catskills, you need to put it on your bucket list. You won’t regret it.

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