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Created by Templates Zoo

Author Katie Mettner

The Lost Camper

I think we all had a favorite book when we were growing up. A book that brought our imagination to life, and kept us wondering about the characters long after we finished. A book that made us read and reread it throughout time because of the way it made us feel or to keep the characters alive in our hearts. For me, that book was....

 “One warm night four children stood in front of a bakery. No one knew them. No one knew where they had come from.” ― Gertrude Chandler WarnerThe Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner was my go to read, at least for the first few years after I started reading chapter books. Only, my cover wasn't the one above, it was this one. 

 (Pretty old school, right?)

I read The Boxcar Children so many times I think I probably wore the pages out. This, of course, was long before it became a series and there was more of Benny and Violet, Henry and Jessie than just the first book. These iconic images are still what rolls through my mind when I talk about the book.

October's story was inspired by The Boxcar Children, but is my own grown-up version. Several years ago I decided to write a chapter a day on my Facebook author page for the month of October until I had a complete book. It was a take on NaNoWriMo usually done in November, but my Novembers are always too busy. When I sat down and wrote, "I tucked the collar of the men’s Carhartt jacket tighter around my neck. The early October days were warm, but the temps dropped fast once the sun started to set. I wanted nothing more than to get home and start a fire to vanquish the chill, and the things that go bump in the night." I instantly had a story that reminded me of those feelings from childhood. What were those feelings? Nostalgia, suspense, worry, excitement, fear, sadness, happiness, and a sense of being able to control your independence by depending on yourself. 

With that in mind, I developed a character who was tough, could depend on herself, was sad, excited, fearful, and yet, extremely happy. She was free of an old life that controlled her every move, and even living in an old run down camper in the middle of the Minnesota woods, she was happy. Her new life gave her the chance to survive on her own, and to prove to herself she could, before life threw her another curve ball. When she becomes embroiled in a murder investigation, she still wants to remain in her camper in the woods, even as her life is in danger. She grew up with no one who cared about her, only a mother who used her for money. Without any family, she had a hard time accepting the help of the very sexy (of course!) sheriff, when the mystery bears down on her. As the reader learns about her vulnerable side, October continues to be strong and determined to solve this mystery and get back to her new life. In the end, I hope I wrote a twisted, sexy, grown-up version of The Boxcar Children that evokes the same kinds of emotion in the reader now that they felt when they were kids. I want the reader to fall in love with the characters, laugh, cry, worry, wonder, and be proud of who October becomes as she tackles another challenge in her life. 

*Footnote: Since this blog post was published nine months ago, October Winds has gone on to be the second top selling and top read book on my Amazon dashboard. I'm proud of the book and the characters inside for telling a story that is not only in the thick of real life right now, but is about healing and becoming whole again. I just finished the edits on the second book in the series, Ruby Sky, and can't wait for all of you to read the rest of October and Jett's story! Thank you to everyone who has read, shared, loved, and held October Winds in their hands!

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