I have had a lot of questions about the settings of both novels.
For Land Run - simply, Oklahoma is home. I grew up there and no matter how long I have lived in North Carolina or anywhere else - I call it home. In these days when it is so easy or necessary to be mobile - I think we all have a place we consider home. For me, Oklahoma is where I discovered a love of reading and writing. I discovered how large man and his problems are. And where I was a private pilot - getting to see how small we all really are in this vast world. It is where I left for the Coast Guard - setting out on the ocean to find how small I am in this world I was. Oklahoma was the environment from which I branched out - only to come back to it with a better understanding and an enhanced respect.
For the new novel (Borderland - presently unpublished) - Our family made 3 trips there over 3 years. The final trip had me living there in an apartment for 2 months. This gave me a good feel for the people and language (I took a year of Russian in college...but I can tell you that doesn't count ;-). It gave me inclination and time to delve into their literature (classics and contemporary) and history as well. And our family fight to bring back a child we hosted in the States gave me a template to develop a compelling story. It is not our family story in any way - there just is no way to make that believable :-).
Well, that's some insight into the choice of setting. I love to start a story with 'place' in mind first. Not sure where the next novel will be located...please stay tuned.
Note: Land Run now also on Kindle and Nook.
Have a great weekend!