I have been writing stories taking place in Grand Rapids since I got my hands on my first notebook and started writing way, way back in elementary school. That was an age of real discovery and adventure back then, as far as me-myself starting to slowly see the world outside my door.
I ventured up into the woods just west of our home. I was riding my bike down streets and alleyways. I was making friends, playing with friends. I was going to school, learning new things about the world, playing things on the playground. And just east of school was the big downtown Grand Rapids, the big city, and the busy expressway with cars and trucks going back and forth to who-knows-where. I'd walk home from school, peering down those side streets, wondering what was down there. Walking by old buildings, wondering what story and history they held.
And dreams. It seems I had a lot more vivid and adventurous dreams back then as a child. Many of the dreams were about school, or about Grand Rapids, or about my neighborhood.
Watching television and movies and reading books added to that imagery both during waking and dreaming hours.
And to a kid with a pen or pencil in hand and a blank lined page in a spiral-bound notebook...I was off.
I had my first official fictional story centered around Grand Rapids published just last month in an anthology. FINAL RIGHTS made its debut in the ebook pages of FADING LIGHT: An Anthology of the Monstrous.
The Grand Rapids in this story is a place in the not-too-distant future but totally (and hopefully) totally fictictious. But it gave me ideas for other stories along the same lines...dark, gritty urban fantasies I suppose you'd call them.
I will keep you posted on the whats and whereabouts of these creative works of putting Grand Rapids and the west coast of Michigan through its paces.
And just so you understand, these stories are written with an underlying love and appreciation of the town I grew up in, that filled me and my mind with adventure and scenes for adventure.
I remember some time ago some naysaying out-of-towner said THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS PLACE (Grand Rapids). They were and still are VERY wrong.