Writing Nice Stories About Nice People
The Flyover County series narrates the story of small-town America. Flyover County is my debut novel and it serves as the foundation for all my other books. An imaginary county in South Dakota, Flyover County is home to a small town called Helen. Helen is a tiny town even by Midwestern standards, with a population of just under three hundred and fifty residents. Despite its size, Helen is not an ordinary town. It is characterized by its people, who are the heart of the community. Most of the town's residents attended Helen Elementary School and Helen High, and worship at either the Helen United Church or St. James Catholic Church. They share a common history, one that includes pioneers, Conestoga wagons, sod huts, and railroad whistle stops. The past has ingrained in them a special set of values and a work ethic that is unmatched by children from other areas of the country. The town has two churches, two taverns, a café, an auto repair shop, a hair salon, a Post Office, and the Quick Stop gas station up on the highway. There are other small businesses in town, and the mayor owns a small engine repair shop, while his brother has a well service. Like many Midwestern towns, there is a grain elevator nearby.