When I first met my wife, I asked where she was from. She gave me the name of a little Minnesota town. I didn’t know where that was. She said it was near another town I had never heard of.
Out of frustration, she asked if I knew where Iowa was. I had heard of that.
“It’s near there,” she said.
Now we live there and whenever someone asks me where I am from, I just say, “Almost Iowa.”
Because I write in the first person style, occasionally my readers are fooled into believing that what I write is true. None of it is. We do not have turtles who run down deer, nor do we live next to the Minnesota State Mosquito Refuge, though you wouldn’t know it during the summer.
All of my stories are fiction. They have to be. The population of my little town is 4 (counting the chickens) and since everyone knows everybody else and everyone knows everything about everybody, I have to write in such a way that they can say, “Hey, that’s me!” and at the same time say, “No way, that’s me!”
I am not from a rural area, which is a source of constant amusement around here.
Another source of local wonder is that I spent almost 30 years working in law enforcement (though not as a cop), which still surprises most of the people I grew up with. The first ten years was with the Minneapolis Police and the last couple of decades with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Readers of the Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers series by John Sanford (Camp) will be familiar with both agencies – though my experience working for them was never that thrilling.
I am retired now, so I have the time to write. Something I always wanted to do. They say you should write about what you know, which is why I write mostly about my wife, my little town and my odd friends.
Beyond that, it is all imagination.