Monthly Archives: September 2010

Why a Ski Town?

Why a ski town? That’s what lots of people asked over the years about the setting for  Yard Sale.

For me, that decision was simple. As an avid skier, I know a lot about ski towns—places as different as Val d’Isère, France and Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  And yet Val d’Isère and Jackson Hole, and every other ski town I’ve been privileged to visit, also have a lot in common. First, snow! Despite the rise in artificial snowmaking, ski towns are still dependent on Mother Nature’s largesse, and climate change is further complicating that situation. The weather—or lack of it—is always the hottest topic in town because everyone’s livelihood depends on it.

Ski towns are also small towns, and small towns have a unique dynamic that bigger places lack. Oh sure, you get the warm fuzzies when you know pretty much everyone at the grocery store and the coffee shop. But there’s also the less pleasant flipside: there are no secrets in a small town. For a writer, that automatically creates all kinds of interesting scenarios. It’s a stew with only a few ingredients, and someone’s always stirring the pot.

Finally, and perhaps most important, ski towns—and resort towns in general—are often the scenes of environmental battles. It’s more than a case of people resisting change; serious issues are involved. These kinds of places are unique and beautiful, but the very features that draw people to them also make them attractive investment prospects. Their natural beauty becomes a commodity for sale to the highest bidder, which means there’s always a conflict simmering. As a fictional setting, that makes a ski town a home run, as far as I’m concerned.

Yard Sale is available through Amazon.