Small Town Girl

As my book, Love Finds You in Romeo, Colorado, gets ready for release in December, I’ve been reminded of why this series so appealed to me in the first place. I grew up in Ozark, Arkansas, a town of about 3500 people. After college, some extensive travelling, and living in three other places, I moved back here with my husband in 1999. My family lives here, and this is where we wanted to raise our family.

My best friend is the director of the Chamber of Commerce. I write for the town newspaper. Many of my old teachers still teach in the schools, and many of my old friends go to church here and own businesses here. When the word got out about Love Finds You in Romeo, I was asked to speak at the local school as well as the Chamber of Commerce. Four businesses scheduled book signings, and two more are scheduled in the county’s libraries. I’m told that even the town grocery store plans to carry copies for sale. Apparently they’re setting up a little stand beside the produce.

I wrote an essay once about how “it takes a village” to write a book, referring to the wonderful support system I have in my family. Now that it’s written and printed, however, I’m finding out how helpful one’s village—or the extended family that is a small town—can be in promoting a book. Perhaps what helps most of all, however, is how they’ve touched the heart of this small-town author.


10 Responses to Small Town Girl

  1. I so enjoyed your post, Gwen and I’m enjoying your book even more. I know what you mean about how important it is to have the support of your family as you toil to bring a book into being….and what a blessing that you have the help and support of the town, as well.

    Unfortunately, my book takes place in a town that no longer exits, and the closest two towns are both under 500 population, so not much potential for book signings or high sales there. But nevertheless, it was such a privilege to get to bring the ghost town of Last Chance back to life. And what a blessing to get to know each of my Summerside Sisters, as well. Miralee

  2. Debby Mayne says:

    How exciting, Gwen! It’s wonderful that you’re getting so much support from your community. I can’t wait to read your book!

  3. Rachel Meisel, Editor says:

    Tell the grocery store owners that they need to set up the stand carrying copies of Romeo right next to the oranges! 🙂

  4. Gwen says:

    Oh, Rachel, that is too funny!

  5. HI Gwen,
    I just finished reading Love Finds You in Romeo Colorado. It was wonderful! Congratulations on your first novel. The characters were very well developed and memorable. Their struggles were realistic and the story was so romantic. I loved Steven, Claire, Abuelita, and little Graeme. It was hard to believe that you’ve never been to Romeo. The way you wrote about it made me feel like it was your home. That’s great that you had such a helpful contact in the area to give you so much info. I hope to read more books from you!
    Carrie Turansky – fellow writer : )

  6. William Reyes says:


    I don’t know if you would remember me. I hope this is the same Gwen. 🙂 I believe you were my piano teacher when I was seven years old. If not, then please forgive my mistake. My name is William Reyes. While rummaging through my things, I found a very inspirational letter that you wrote me when I was 10 years old. I never wrote you back and told you thank you, so I guess I’m trying to do that now. Thank you for your words.

    William C. Reyes

    • Gwen says:

      William Reyes,
      Of course I remember you! How could I ever forget my little virtuoso? I am smiling from ear to ear as I read your words. Thank you so very much for taking the time to find me!
      You will not believe this, but in this book, my first novel, I named my hero after you and your brothers. He is a Spanish speaking cowboy/doctor and I gave him the last name Reyes. So you see that you and your brothers inspired me too!
      I hope you are all well.
      My personal email is and I am also on Facebook if you would like to keep in touch. I would love to hear from you.
      A big hug,
      The same Gwen

  7. Karen Jordan says:

    So glad to find this blog post, Gwen. Looking forward to seeing you again soon, when you come to the Village to speak. Hope you and your family are doing well. Blessings!

  8. Pat Bevil says:

    Gwen, I just finished your book Love Finds You in Branson, and really enjoyed it. Once I started, I had to finish it. I liked the story-line of the diary and her life. Hope to see more. Pat Bevil

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