The old gas station will become an important element in the life and times of the people of Squirrel Valley.
The Creation of Squirrel Valley
By Richard Mabey Jr.
A friend of mine recently advised me not to use my old hometown of Lincoln Park for the backdrop of my book. He told me to create a fictional town, even if I do base this fictional town upon my own remembrances of growing up in Lincoln Park. And, alas, I have decided upon a name for my fictional town. Without further ado, I decided to name my little fictional town, Squirrel Valley. I am 99.9 percent sure, that at this point in time that I am going to set Squirrel Valley in northern New Jersey.
My friend also told me to change all names. Even if I do draw upon remembrances of real people, I’ve decided to change all names. I’m still debating whether or not to change my name from Mabey to Meaden. I have to give this a lot of thought.
There is a common criticism that I have received from the Ivy Tower of the publishing world. This criticism runs as a theme throughout my writings. The criticism is that I need to put a little spice in my novel. Not necessarily making it R-rated, but just a sprinkling of spice. Also, I need to create more conflict between my characters. Hence, by creating fictional characters, even if they are based upon real-life people, I can put some little sprinklings of spice and conflict throughout my book; without worrying about being sued.
The barber shop will be an essential backdrop for my book.
The barber shop will be an important backdrop for my book. I think that the old barber shop was a grand and glorious social setting for men to gather in a small town. I’m thinking of a fictional name for my barber. Obviously, the name of Floyd is taken.
By no means have I given up on my goal to see “I Remember Dad” become published. But, I need to take a bit of a break from working on “I Remember Dad.” Even if just for a little while. I’m going to do a major rewrite of the other book that I have been knocking myself out, working on. Originally, I had planned to publish a more or less, real-to-life book on the essential culture and character of my old hometown of Lincoln Park. But, a friend of mine recently told me that I would get sued for sure.
Writing is hard work. It really is. Book publishers are a pain in the neck. They really are. Particularly if you are not a celebrity or a regular on the old Fox News Channel. I am determined more than ever, to get my book published. I don’t want “Squirrel Valley” to be a “Peyton Place” kind of book. But, I’ve come to the point in my life where I have to be realistic and give the publishers what they want; a little spice and a little conflict.
So, I begin the work of a major rewrite. Squirrel Valley will not be a carbon copy of Lincoln Park. However, the core theme of growing up in Lincoln Park, in the 1950’s and 1960’s will run throughout my book about growing up in Squirrel Valley. At this moment in time, I think that I will change my last name from Mabey to Meaden. Hopefully, this rewrite will catch the eye of some big shot publisher. You just never know.