Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Yvonne Anderson as she showcases her recent release in a novella collection called Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection
In the summer of 2016, some of my writer friends talked about putting together a collection of novellas with a tiny house theme.
My first thought was, “That’s not for me.” You see, I write speculative fiction, and they were talking about contemporary fiction. But after watching their conversation for a while, I thought it sounded like fun, so I asked my friends if I could play too. Being kind and gracious ladies, they invited me in.
Great! Now, what to write? I toyed with several ideas (including a friend’s suggestion that I write about finding love in a tiny house on Mars…). But soon, my mind went back to the days when I lived in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, and I used to imagine building a little house on the hill behind our house. I loved living in that valley, but we lived on a busy county road, and I’ve always preferred something a little more remote. Once the kids were grown, we no longer needed a big place, and a little house tucked away up there on the hill would be a perfect solution.
We ended up selling the property in 2013, but this tiny house collection was my opportunity to put that house—a tiny house—on the hill just as I’d always imagined. Or at least, I could pretend to put it up there. It also gave me the opportunity to visit my old hometown again, if only in my mind, as my protagonist moved into the tiny house and got acquainted with the neighborhood.
Though she moved into my personal fantasy, her life is not based on mine, by any means. I have enjoyed a happy marriage for 41 years and counting, while her marriage ends in disaster. I changed the name of the town, the valley, and some other place names. But anyone who’s familiar with the area will recognize it right away.
All things considered, the title of the collection (Coming Home) is perfect, as that’s what it felt like to me as I wrote my contribution.
But my story, “First Love,” is just one of seven in this big novella collection, each written by a different author. They’re set all over the country, from the blistering summer heat of Texas to a frozen ice road on Lake Superior, and points in between. The characters lead different lives, have varying ambitions, and they resolve their problems in their own ways. But every story has a happy ending, and tiny houses figure prominently in each. The book offers a whole lot of sweet summer reading. We hope you’ll check it out!
Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world.
Usually, that means out of this world and into outer space, or to another planet, as in her acclaimed Gateway to Gannah series. (Book 1, The Story in the Stars, was an ACFW Carol Award finalist in 2012.)
In addition to this tiny house collection, this year she’s launching a new multi-phase speculative fiction adventure, The Four Lives of Jemma Freeman. As with the Gannah series, the story is set on a fictional planet, but the characters are human. Very human. You probably know some of them.
Look for the first part of Book 1, Stillwaters, coming soon on ebook.
(My novella is in the middle of the book; this is the first page of my contribution, not the first page of the first story.)
Minda Miller’s footsteps echoed across the hardwood floors as she made one last pass through the empty house. Tiny Tim, her Norwich Terrier, followed with a rapid clickety-click of his nails.
Under the watchful afternoon sun slanting through the windows, they checked every closet and cabinet and investigated every nook to make sure they’d left nothing behind.
Nothing, that is, but the memories. The shattered hopes. The dust of a crumbled marriage that cast a bitter patina over everything her eye scanned. Those, Minda had no intention of bringing with her. That was the point, after all. A fresh start.
She could have kept the place. After a decade and a half of scrimping to make double payments, they’d paid off their mortgage fourteen months ago. And Leonard, no doubt motivated by guilt, had deeded his interest to her. The house was hers, free and clear, to live in for the rest of her life.
But she couldn’t stay here if she were to rewrite her life story. And that was what she planned to do. The new Minda didn’t cling to the past. She would lift her head and step with new purpose into a new life, a new identity.
She closed the last cabinet and headed for the front door, which she shut and locked one last time. Then she crossed the broad front porch to Kay, the real estate agent, who stood on the far side, checking something on her phone.
Kay looked up. “We good to go?” She slipped the phone into her purse.
Minda handed her the key. “We are. The buyers can move in whenever they want.”