Once upon a time there was a young girl who lived on the prairies—the flat prairies of which any number of jokes had evolved. ‘My dog ran away last week and I can still see him.’
She’d been to visit her grandparents which meant traveling through the mountains. One time it was on a train when she was five. She was terrified when she looked down from the train when it crossed a trestle and she could see nothing holding her up. Of course, that girl was me. Several trips were made through the mountains via car. They were both awe-inspiring and a little frightening. One road we took was switch backs and blind corners when you couldn’t see what was coming. It was only wide enough for one vehicle. If we met someone coming from the other direction—usually a big truck—my dad had to back up to the nearest wide spot that allowed the two vehicles to pass. Imagine! He backed up on a very curvy, narrow road. (I still get tense at the thought.) And yet, I love the mountains.
My first job out of highschool was working at a remote resort in the mountains. I spent my days off in Banff and thus began my life-long love affair with that town. To this day, I try and make an annual trip to Banff or at least to some area of the mountains.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that many of my books are set in the mountains, mostly in Alberta and Montana.