As many of you know, I was in Lake Geneva a few weeks ago. Thanks to everyone who came to see me at the Cornerstone Shop!
But my primary reason for coming to Lake Geneva was to finally see the area in winter. While I’m currently writing Mailboat V (set at the end of summer and releasing this August), I’m already planning Mailboat VI, which is set in the off season.
(And because I know you want to know, my outlines suggest there will be about eight books all together in the Mailboat Suspense Series.)
Seeing Lake Geneva under ice and snow for the first time was AMAZING. I’m so glad I went! So enjoy this photo journal of my trip.
My first time at O’Hare! I only got lost a few times… Also, I arrived really late, and didn’t roll into Lake Geneva itself until one in the morning, LOL. I was tired.
Since Book VI takes place in winter… Bailey will be in school! I reached out to my friends at the Lake Geneva Police Department and asked if their School Resource Officer at Badger High could give me a tour.
Officer Theon Ward was fantastic. Our tour lasted THREE HOURS. Any time he asked if I wanted to see this or that, I replied, “Dude. I live fifteen hundred miles away. YES, I want to see that.”
Thanks, Officer Ward, for making my research so complete! And thanks to Courtney Hinzpeter of the LGPD for coming along and photographing our adventure.
I can’t tell you how impressed I was with Badger High. With all the classes and opportunities offered, it was more like touring a small college than a high school. Here’s my favorite photo of the tour–Officer Ward appreciating an EXTREMELY talented monolog by one of the students from the theater department.
I couldn’t go to Bailey’s high school without picking up a tee shirt! This is now one of my prized possessions. Go, Badgers!
One of the reasons I was so excited for this trip was to see Winterfest and the International Snow Sculpting Competition! My favorite sculpture was, of course, by Team North Dakota–a sea serpent wrapped around a Viking longship. My home state took third!
Since I was so busy with research, I made time for only one public event, a book signing at the Cornerstone Shop. Some of you drove two or even three hours to come see me! Thank you so much, I felt the love. Here’s a pic I got with Paula, one of my top fans.
For anyone who was looking for me in Lake Geneva and couldn’t find me… I spent a lot of my down time here! This is the new Mobile Command Unit for the Lake Geneva Police Department. It’s essentially an office on wheels, making it easier for the PD to manage large events like Winterfest, or respond to emergency situations.
And most importantly, IT WAS WARM–one of the top reasons I kept finding myself there, LOL. I got to check out the PD’s latest tech, brush up my skills writing cop stories, and hang out with my friends from the PD–some of whom I hadn’t seen since pre-pandemic. Dang, it was good to see them.
Speaking of old friends… I found the Mailboat up at its winter berth in Williams Bay! We had a good, long talk. So much love for this boat…
My friend Stacy managed to wrangle a ticket for me to see the Ice Castles, even though they were sold out that weekend! What a magical experience. Yes, I totally tried the ice slides.
Back at O’Hare, I had time before my flight to upload pictures to my Facebook and Instagram pages–and listen to Bailey go on and on about her life post-series, including memorable trips she took out of O’Hare Airport. My characters always feel so real–and LOUD!–when I’m in the places where the story is set.
And it hasn’t really worn off. Feeling inspired by Bailey’s excitement for her life post-series, I spent time this week fleshing out the big-picture series outline. You know it’s good when you make yourself cry. So much joy.
And then I was home! It was great to be back with Charles again–but my trip was definitely too short. In great news, I’ll be back in Lake Geneva next August for the release of Mailboat V! I can’t wait to see you then.