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  • Amy Q. Barker

Maplewood: Hometown Girl Makes Good

Updated: Feb 18


Who says you can't go home?

I've been thinking about that word "home" a lot lately.


Google definition of "home": A place where one lives or resides.


As a verb (for animals, but I think also for humans!): A place or territory where one returns by instinct after leaving.


What does home mean to you?


I think home is where your heart lives.


I left New York twenty-four years ago to begin a new job (and a new life) in Indiana, but in my mind and in many ways, I never left my childhood home on Maplewood Avenue in Spencerport, New York. In fact, at night when I dream (even today!), I'm right back in that house, wandering around the rooms as if I'm a twelve-year-old girl looking for my lost curling iron. But in reality, I'm here in my cozy house in Indiana, a little bit wiser and a lot older, writing about a magical place and time when life was simpler, easier, and sweeter. A place and time where I formed life-long friendships, learned the value of a front porch swing, got in a little bit of old-fashioned trouble, and lived to tell a tale about a sleepy street in a sleepy town in the heart of America.


HOME = MAPLEWOOD


Imagine for a moment: A street where everyone knows your name and your business. You spend most of your time outdoors playing with the neighborhood kids, swimming in each other's pools, darting in and out of houses, concocting games, challenges, fights, and fun, all for the sole purpose of whiling away the time.


Of course, like all my novels, Maplewood is a work of fiction. All of the characters are written from my own imagination (no one in this story is real) and nothing that happens in the story is based on reality. However, the setting is based on my memories of the real Maplewood Avenue. I decided before I ever wrote a single word that the street would be the main character and would be the backdrop for the rest of the characters' healing and growth.


Now, for a sneak peek at the "guts" of the story - it's about recovering from grief and about how two lonely, broken people fight for a second chance at love:


When Maplewood begins, Amanda Morgan is suffering after the sudden, tragic loss of her husband. Two years have gone by, and she's still reeling. Finally, she decides she needs a change. She hears that her childhood home on Maplewood Avenue is for sale and buys it, moving 600 miles away from everything she has known and loved for the past sixteen years. She hopes Maplewood will be the answer to her unending sadness. Unexpectedly, she runs into her high school sweetheart and feels a jolt. Jonathan Galway has his own shock and hesitancy about seeing Amanda - he has no interest in a relationship after his recent unresolved divorce. Will these two lonely souls come together under Maplewood's healing drumbeat, against all odds, against the unfairness of life, against their own better judgment?


Wait and see...I hope you enjoy Maplewood.


P.S. For anonymity reasons, I have called Spencerport "Heathport" in the book and created a fake numbered address on the street, so please don't google or map it because you won't find it!


Thank you for your support, love you all, Amy



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