Today, we have the lovely Pat Henshaw on a visit. Welcome!
The town began as a fictional gay-friendly bar in a small Northern California Sierra Nevada community east of San Francisco. There wasn’t much beyond the bar in What’s in a Name?, the first in the Foothills Pride series.
Oh, there was a coffee shop in the mall outside town, a mall shared by two other small towns, and there were a few eating establishments, but not much else.
When Redesigning Max came along, as the author of both books, I had to come up with a little more town, so I added a new coffee shop in the two-block downtown and a diner outside it. The fictional town was growing.
By the time I’d written Behr Facts and When Adam Fell, the town had grown by leaps and bounds. On the two blocks were a construction office and a five-star restaurant across the street from a steakhouse.
It wasn’t until I was working on Relative Best, number five in the series, that I discovered I was lost. Two of the characters in the book own and operate a barber shop and hair salon. They wanted to walk down the street to the coffee shop and get drinks. How far was it? What would they pass on the way?
I was lost in my own fictional town!
Since I don’t have a graphic program to map out my tiny refuge from the big city, how could I make a map to orient myself—and my thirsty characters?
Relying on the only program I know fairly well, I used Word to come up with this map after first drawing it by hand on a legal tablet.
As I kept working on the series (eight books in all), I added buildings and notations to the map. Today’s town looks like this:
Welcome to Stone Acres, California, where gay men find their happily ever after!
What’s in a Name? – After he gets dumped on his birthday, barista Jimmy gets drunk. A hunky, handsome bartender takes care of him. But what’s the bartender’s name?
Redesigning Max – Metro gay Fredi agrees to redo outdoorsman Max’s mountain cabin. While he’s at it, Max would like a makeover too. Fredi’s delighted to agree.
Behr Facts – Construction company owner Abe Behr hates to admit one of his family is skimming from the business, so he hires accountant Jeff to look at the books. They both find more than the thief in their search.
When Adam Fell – Celebrity chef Adam misses his addict boyfriend. But when David turns up saying he’s clean, will Adam take him back and start again?
Relative Best – Singer and hotel owner Zeke falls for Native American Vic. Finding time to have a boyfriend while performing at the bar and running the hotel might proved too much for a relationship.
Frank at Heart – Salt of the earth Frank, who owns and runs the hardware store, thinks
he’s too old for true love to find him. That is, until computer game programmer Christopher and his teenage son move to town.
Waking the Behr – San Francisco entrepreneur Mitch buys the town steakhouse and hires Ben Behr to remodel it. When they view the world from each other’s eyes, they like what they see.
Short Order – Who says a man has to be tall to find love? Not sous chef John or horticulture graduate Fen whose worlds collide in December over holiday cheer.
What am I working on now? A holiday story about two men who have nothing in common and must team up for a fundraiser. And a novel about a wounded former cop who settles in a coastal California town looking for respite and the artist who challenges him every step of the way in his recovery.
Series title: Foothills Pride
Author: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: JMS Books
Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/pat-henshaw/
Pat Henshaw, born and raised in Nebraska, has lived on the U S’s three coasts, in Texas, Virginia, and now California. Before she retired, she held a number of jobs, including theatrical costumer, newspaper features reporter and movie reviewer, librarian, junior college English instructor, and publicist. She also loves to travel and has visited Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, and Central America as well as almost all fifty US states.
Now retired, she enjoys reading and writing as well as visiting her older daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren on the East Coast and playing havoc with her younger daughter’s life in NorCal. She thanks you for reading her books and wants you to remember that every day is a good day for romance.