Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Vicki Batman: Living in a Small Town

Though I've lived in a larger city for almost nineteen years, I grew up on a farm near a very small town (700 people back in the day). As an adult I lived in three small cities (pop. 10,000, 5,000, and 3,500) so I think I have a pretty good handle on how they operate. It's probably why I feel the most comfortable writing my small town romances, like One More Second Chance and First and Again. My guest Vicki Batman shares a similar love for small towns and she's here to talk about the world she created in Sommerville. Welcome Vicki Batman!

Living in a Small Town

I sorta did. When I was born, my parents lived in a large town, but moved when I was five. I grew up in a nearby suburb. It felt like a small town, yet we were close to big town amenities. After attending college in a small town, I returned to my roots and have lived there ever since. After all, doesn’t a good neighborhood feel like a small town? There’s plenty of shopping, fast access to downtown and my favorite mall. One of the best aspects is small business ownership. I love my favorite donut shop, the family-owned steakhouse, the Sicilian restaurant which made (it has now closed) the crispiest pizza crust. There’s antique malls, craft stores—I could go on and on.

When I began writing, I was moved to set all my works in the town of Sommerville. I had no idea I was world-building. I included the lake, the arboretum, the biking and hiking trails, high rises, apartment buildings, municipal buildings, and lots of other places that are familiar to me. What about the indigenous wildlife? Or pets? Or weather? That’s there too, as is the Christmas tree lot. I named streets and businesses. Created families and friends.

Is that boring? Or cheating? I don’t think so. I’ve carved a niche from the large city I live in and created my own world which is perfect for my stories.

In “Raving Beauty,” my romantic comedy short story from the Just You and Me boxed set, my characters returned to Sommerville after college. They buy donuts at Dee’s Delicious Donuts and support the hero in his restaurant endeavor, Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse. He even persuades his sister’s best friend, and the girl he has always adored, to represent his business in the Sommerville Chamber of Commerce beauty contest. Here’s a fun excerpt:

"I can't believe I let your loony brother, who's tormented me all my life, talk me into this." With my eye on the teenage competition, I tugged the leg opening of my swimsuit into place to better cover my hip. "Just because I did some modeling in college doesn't make me a pageant diva. Back then, I was incredibly skinny, and clothes fit easily."
 "Daniel's a rat. He took advantage of your third or was it your fourth margarita, Kelly?" Maggie Ackerman, my best friend and roommate, adjusted the scarlet satin sash draped across my body. Glittery stick-on letters spelled out Miss Yahoo! Ranch Steakhouse. "Hold still."
With an old-fashioned teasing comb, she picked my brown hair into place at the crown of my head. The eerie suspicion I resembled a scary dame with Big Texas hair from the television show, Dallas, caused me to avoid looking in the mirror.
 "Close your eyes." She hit me with super freeze-it hairspray. "Now, that ain't goin' nowhere."
My personal stylist needed to work on her aim, preferably with both of her eyes open. I spit-wiped the sticky spot on my right cheek. I hope nobody I know sees me like this.

"There." The scrunch of her nose reflected how pleased she was with herself. "Feeling better?"
Like a slab of beef.

Find out about Just You and Me at:

Amazon Preorder : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCZWL6N
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/just-you-and-me…/1125868014
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/just-you-and-me
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1210908031

Author Bio:

Award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, two romantic comedy mysteries to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Chocoaholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

Find Vicki at:

Website: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com/p/more-about-me.html
Facebook: http://bit.ly/293iZIz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/VickiBatman/
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/vickibatman/
Email: vlmbatman@hotmail.com

Time to share! Small towns? Or big cities?


  1. I love small towns. I grew up in one and live in one today. I love them so much that I've also created my own small town book series and used my hometown in another series.

    1. Hi, Melissa! The area I live in is like a small town. I always see people I know, kids grow up, etc. We just don't have a good main street.

  2. I've had both...with the exception of the time I went to college in a teeny, tiny town in Vermont, I've lived in Philadelphia. Choosing between the two would be like asking a mom to choose between her kids (smile!).

    1. Hi, Angela! My college town was pretty small and in the middle of no where. But I met the nicest people there. Am so grateful I got to go.