A Snood's Start

My husband and I visited Yellowstone a few months before I started writing "Wilfair." I knew at the time that I wanted to tell a story about a strange hotel and odd motel and the people within but I didn't yet have all the details.

Our road trip ignited a number of micro ideas for the books. Some I watered and tended to, some I smiled at gently and showed the door. (They keep trying to get back in, as ideas wanting a second chance sometimes do.)

A few ideas I kept:

Seeing the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone made me want a gorgeous old lodge in the books (I'll tell the story of how I skipped about the hallways at 2 a.m. another day, but my nocturnal, pajama-clad traipsing informed "Redwoodian," too.) Old Faithful Inn is one of the five lodges that inspired the fictional Redwoodian.

The hot ground holes and gushing geysers of Yellowstone made me think about how I wanted a weird tar spring in the books, and what else might be found underground. The Yellowstone geysers, along with the La Brea Tar Pits, are the real-world sources behind the motel's tar bubble.

And Fair Finley's snood began in Smoot, Wyoming. I wanted the books' heroine to dress in vintage, but I hadn't yet put together her look. When we drove by the town's sign it instantly made me think of the word "snood." And thus Fair's signature hair-wear was born on State Highway 89.

I just looked at a map of Smoot and noticed the small town north of it is called Fairview. Hmm.


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