Ghost Town Q&A Part 1
Since I’ve started writing and getting my novels published, I’ve had many people asking me questions about my ‘Ghost Town’ series of books. Through email, Facebook, and in person, there has been a great deal in interest in my writing projects. I thought I would take my next few blogs and write answers to some of the most common questions that I’ve been receiving. If you have any questions about the books, feel free to ask and I’ll answer them in the upcoming blog entries.
One of the main questions I’ve gotten centers around the town of Whiterock itself. The town of White Rock South Dakota is just a stone’s throw from where I grew up and although the town’s been abandoned for many years, it has a deep and rich history. The reason I modified the name, making it one word instead of two is because the book is a work of fiction set in the town, not a history of the town itself. I wanted to make a distinction so that there wouldn’t be any confusion about events in the book.
In the story, Whiterock is a blended location of White Rock South Dakota and its surrounding lands, along with an area to the west known as Sica Hollow. Sica Hollow is a state park in South Dakota that has hiking and horseback trails, campsites, and picnic areas. Sica Hollow is a beautiful park and it inspired all of the lands surrounding Whiterock in the ‘Ghost Town’ series. Ever since I was young I can remember always looking forward to going to Sica Hollow for a day of hiking, which I did with my parents, and when I was older, my friends. Sica Hollow is one of the first dates that I took my wife Brittany on and Sica Hollow is where I proposed to her. If you’re ever in northeast South Dakota, Sica Hollow is a must see.
I chose White Rock South Dakota as the setting because the town has a mystery about it. Driving through White Rock it is easy to see that there is a long and storied history there, that dreams were made and crushed within the limits of the small town. People still drive through today, looking at the promise of what could have been a thriving city but turned into a ghost town.
Blackstone Hollow is a created city that is hidden within the forests that surround Whiterock in the ‘Ghost Town’ series. The symbolism of the name is rather blunt, playing off the main town, but the tension between the two cities is something that has played out often in rural, small town communities. Often talked about in my home county of Traverse in Minnesota is how one city stole the county seat and court house from another city. When the county seat was stolen, tensions ran very high between the towns and even though its joked about now, there are still people who hold distain for the current county seat in Traverse.
The thought of a hidden city within a forest that no one knows about has always intrigued me. I had so much detail and thought about Blackstone Hollow that I wanted to put in ‘Ghost Town’ but couldn’t since it would have taken too much away from the main story that I created an entire novel, ‘Hidden Trails’ dedicated to that concept. All the hope and promise Whiterock gives its citizens is trying to be taken away by Blackstone Hollow.
The entire area of Whiterock and its forests come to life in amazing detail as the ‘Ghost Town’ story unfolds. As we dive deeper into the mysteries of the characters, we go deeper into the magic of the forests and farms of the area. I was able to narrate this so easily because it is where I grew up, it is the experiences that I had. I’ve always been very close to nature and have had a love of the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I found writing the scenes in the forests were some of the easiest writing that I’ve ever done.
The concept of New Church came to me during the firsts drafts of the ‘Ghost Town’ story. The church is a combination of a number of country churches that dot the landscape around White Rock South Dakota. While I cannot point to one place and say that New Church came from there, I can point out a number of churches and illustrate the parallels with New Church.
I’ve often imagined what a person could find hidden in a forest, deep in the woods, away from society and the situations that could arise when those places are found. It’s the same as what hides deep in our subconscious that we keep hidden away from the world. ‘Ghost Town’ takes you on a journey to discover what lurks where we don’t want people to see, the worst that most people are able to control while others indulge, sometimes with dire consequences for all.
Head on over to my website, Leifericksonwriting.com and buy your copy of the ‘Ghost Town’ series today. Stay tuned on my blog as I’ll be explaining many more questions that I’ve received since ‘Ghost Town – The Whiterock Incident’ hit the books stores. If you have a question regarding the books, feel free to email me or contact me through Facebook and ask away. I’d be more than happy to answer anything you’re wondering about the books. Thank you.