Indian Summer and an interview with Tracy to be feaured on Book Club Queen.com!
Q: Why did you write Indian Summer?
Indian Summer developed in my imagination over a period of many years. Marcie’s story at Lake Pappakeechee explores different themes that interest me: the similarities and contrasts between different social and economic groups, the magic in the world that children are very much aware of, and the journey through adolescence to young adulthood.
I wanted to explore the idea that we make assumptions about people based on stereotypes or our own experiences only to find out that the reality can be something completely different. Also, I wanted to expose readers to the idea that the way we experience the world may be only part of what is true. I am really intrigued by that idea—that there is more to life than meets the eye, if we take the time to look.
Marcie’s development from feeling ordinary, unconfident, and slightly in awe of the Swyndalls, to discovering her own strength and resulting self-assuredness is a passage I know we would all hope to make, a kind of universal journey if we are lucky enough to take it.
Writing Indian Summer was a selfish pleasure for me in some ways. I think young adulthood is so filled with possibilities and discoveries, and writing about it allows me to experience that in some measure.
Q: How did you get the idea for the book?
Our real life Mamaw has a cottage on a lake in Northern Indiana (Lake Wawasee) where I got some of my ideas for the setting. The story is fiction, but I took bits and pieces of people and places and combined them with my imagination to create Lake Pappakeechee and the characters in the book. There is a family that owns a lot of property on our lake and they were developing a golf course into a bike path and what amounted to a bigger front yard to afford themselves more privacy. I started thinking about development on the lake and the idea for Marcie’s story took root. I am concerned about Urban Sprawl, environmental issues and the pressure that many of us feel to accumulate more and more stuff. Our drive to have the latest gadgets, wear latest fashions, drive the fanciest car, or basically keep up with the Joneses comes at the expense of other more important things like appreciating nature, family traditions, and relationships.