The small town of Hansburg in my novel, Tamper, is based on the town of Christiansburg, Virginia, where I was born and raised. In the book I call the town Hansburg because back in 1790, Christiansburg was known as “Hans Meadow.” On a recent visit to my mother and brother, who still live in Christiansburg, I had the good fortune to attend a meeting of the New River Writers Project, led by Donna Alvis-Banks. The stated purpose of this friendly and welcoming group is to “produce and promote literature and other works of art that preserve local history and culture, support educational and arts initiatives, and celebrate a sense of place in Southwest Virginia.” They also have a Facebook page. I know Thomas Wolfe once wrote, “You can’t go home again,” but I felt right at home with this wonderful group of people!
I’m taking a time-out from blogging about writing to brag on my mother, Paula King Ectric. Here she is, volunteering at the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Programin the little town of Christiansburg, Virginia, where I grew up. She is the one in the middle, with the red jacket.
MCEAP’s clothing bank serves as both a thrift store and a provider of goods to families in emergency need of clothing and housewares.