I moved from southeast Iowa to the Twin Cities in…I think it was spring of 2000. My son had settled in the area a few years earlier, and I fell in love with the place after just a few visits. I had to remain in Iowa until all of our aging animals were gone, one being a horse. If you read my memoir, you will have met him. Mr. Red. My daughter ended up at the University of Minnesota, so it was wonderful when our small family was once again reunited.
I can't explain why I love the Twin Cities. I've tried. How can you love a city that is oftentimes dark and ugly and full of crime? A place where your car is destroyed right in front of your house? When you get mugged leaving a venue? When your pocket is picked at a gas station? When cops throw people over car hoods and arrest them steps from your door? When you sometimes wonder if you just heard gunshots. Pretty sure those were gunshots.
I love it because there's magic here. There's this wonderful energy, this charge of creativity that's in the air and in the buildings and in the sidewalk under your feet. It's in the snow that falls and pisses you off because you can't get anywhere. If you could flip a switch and actually see the creativity, it would look like flying sparks settling in your hair and inside your boots, catching on your eyelashes. When you inhale, you breathe sparks into your lungs.
I set a book in the Twin Cities, but I was unable to convey my love of the place, or why I loved it.
Well my friends… If you want to understand why Minnesota is wonderful, if you want to know how in the hell people can stand it here when a dark winter night bottoms out at -40 (that's not wind chill), download a copy of the Devil and the Diva by David Housewright and Renee Valois. You will understand. You will want to move here. Even if you already live here, you will want to move here.
Here's my short blurb:
Mysterious, lush, and lovely; a present-day gothic tale drenched in love for a magical land called Minnesota.
It's rich, it's lush, it's romantic, it's smart, it's funny. It's a mix of genres, a Beauty and the Beast tale. Mystery. Crime fiction. Intrigue. Gothic romance. Inside the pages we visit Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, the North Shore, all in winter. Winter! A masked man. Dark wool capes that flow over deep snow. A house like a castle. A woman in a white gown holding a candelabra.
READ MORE ABOUT THE BOOK: THE DEVIL AND THE DIVA
Full disclosure: David is a friend of mine and contributed a short story to the Halloween anthology Deadly Treats. He's also an Edgar winner. So there ya go!