While I'm gearing up for the release of Going over Home (which has been delayed several times for different reasons), I thought I'd post a few little known things about the novel. Hope you enjoy.
1. The idea for the book came to me in January 2009 while my husband and I were visiting the graves of some of his ancestors in the Rogers Cemetery in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County, Indiana. Maddox Cemetery in the book looks just how Rogers Cemetery looks.
2. The grandmother in the book is based loosely off of my great-great-great grandmother, Almira King Holsclaw.
3. I imagine the Fox house in the neighborhood off of River Road north of Main Street in Carmel, and the Ames house just up the road across from Prairie Trace Elementary School. The house I imagined the Ameses living in burned down in November 2010.
4. When I first started writing the book, the family looked nothing like they do now. Instead of being "different" in their lifestyle, they were "flat" and were just like everyone else, as I said because the parents were trying to hide how they were different. It didn't take me long to decide I didn't want them to be just like everyone else. It didn't fit who Mama's character was begging to be.
5. I listened to the different versions of the song Wayfaring Stranger hundreds, if not thousands, of times while writing and editing the book. I even got the word wayfaring tattooed on my foot.
6. At the time I was writing the book, I had a job that took me driving over 60-100 miles a day. The majority of the book was conceived on those drives.
7. The character of Olive is based loosely on my sister - her looks and her bubbly nature, especially.
8. My sister and I have dreamed of collaborating on a project like this since we were kids - I would write the story and she would illustrate it. (She's doing the cover.)
9. Papa's name was Wendell the entire time while I was writing the book, but when I went back to editing it, I couldn't take him seriously because Wendell is one of my dog's names. I had to change his name then!
10. Maddie's (Maddox) name came from a name on a gravestone I saw in a cemetery. Ellie's name came from my daughter's name (Eliana, or Ellie). Carrie's name came from Carrie Ingalls in the Little House books. Jackie's name came from my grandmother Jackie Mulry Lutz, and Lottie's name came from my great-great grandmother Lottie Ann Ash Oder.