Finding “Hollow” Inspiration

July 16, 2021

Finding Home, my contribution to The Long Road Home series, is a work in progress. It needs to go through several edits before it makes it out to you in August, but there’s no reason why I can’t share some info about it with you, including some of my inspiration…

My hero is Jaxson Adams. Jaxson went into the Army expecting to come out in a couple of years and go into business restoring classic cars and motorcycles with his father.

As often happens in life, things didn’t work out that way. While deployed, Jaxson’s father passed away unexpectedly, prompting Jaxson to keep re-upping. Why go home when there’s nothing to go home to?

When a wounded Jaxson does finally make it back to “the hollow” ten years later, he’s not the same man he was when he left, and Campbell’s Junction, VA no longer feels like home. 

As he’s going through his father’s things, he finds something he never expected: love letters written to his father – letters that might lead him to the mother Jaxson never knew. That gives him purpose – even if it’s only a temporary one –  until he can figure out what he’s going to do.

It’s not going to be easy, though. The only things he has to go on are a first name and a thirty-year-old postmark which leads him to Sumneyville, Pennsylvania, the small mountain where my Sanctuary series is based. As you can imagine, things really get interesting from there. The small town Sanctuary folk do not like outsiders, especially biker types who come asking questions.

Jaxson ends up finding a lot more than he was looking for – including trouble.

You might already know that Sumneyville is based on a collection of mountain towns in Northeastern Pennsylvania, where I was born and raised. But where did the idea for Campbell’s Junction come from?

Answer: lots of road trips through the gorgeous mountains of Virginia over the years.

Sure, I could take big interstates like I-95 and save myself some time, but I prefer slightly longer, scenic routes that involve mountains and stunning scenic vistas, as well small towns. It’s grass roots Americana at its best.

One tiny blip of a town not too far off the beaten path is a personal favorite of mine. Ironically named after a very big, famous city in France, it’s nestled amongst mountain hollows with plenty of forests, farmland, and rolling hills. It’s the perfect setting for my Jaxson, who, once you get past all the damage, is really a small town, country boy at heart. 

It’s just going to take a very special woman to remind him of that 😉