Monday 27 November 2017

Small Towns Part Two

by Kerrie Paterson

What Makes Small Towns so Special?

As well as the physical aspect of the small town, it’s also the people that make it unique. The sense of community, the two-degrees of separation between everyone, the pulling together in a crisis – all of which make small towns such fun to write. Everyone knowing everyone else’s business can be both a blessing and a curse!

Creating Characters in a Small Town Setting

I sometimes use pinterest for the visual representation of my characters. I usually have an idea in my head of what they look like, and then spend countless hours searching Google to find someone who matches. Away from the physical side, I have to admit I’m an eavesdropper and love to people-watch, so I get ideas for mannerisms and patterns of speech from observing. I’m also a sucker for human-interest stories and will often read something and tuck the idea away in the back of my mind.

I’m a big fan of the beta hero and I think small towns are where he comes into his own. He’s not the rich, arrogant, city millionaire; he’s more often than not someone who works with their hands, or has their own small business. Community and family means a lot to him. *sigh* To me, that’s very sexy!

Every small town has their local character and I like to populate my towns with a few memorable secondary characters. I think that helps the town seem more real and can add lighter elements to lift the story.

Elsie's Place

My latest book, Elsie's Place, was published in 2017. Here is the blurb. I hope you enjoy reading it.

A Grand Design style renovation – with a literal skeleton in the closet.

Sixty-year-old widowed school principal Patricia inherits a run-down, historic house in Newcastle, NSW, from Elsie, an old lady she’d befriended.

On leave following a distressing incident at her school, Pat throws herself into restoring the house with the help of new friends – architect Susan, whose longing for a child threatens her marriage, and Lauren, a single mum stubbornly sacrificing her dreams of self-employment for the security of a nine-to-five job. Attraction flares between Pat and Andy, the historic restoration expert she hires.

While menacing phone calls and destructive break-ins threaten to derail the restoration project, a shocking discovery causes repercussions no-one could have foreseen.

Caught between the needs of her mother ravaged by dementia and the demands of her adult children, Pat must learn to put herself first to salvage both her new life and her new love.

I love to love - travelling around this great country of ours. I've recently come back from a month- long road trip with my son and we saw so many amazing places.

I love to laugh - at the latest play I'm stage managing. Much Ado About Nothing is such a funny play and being involved has been so much fun!

I love to learn - what makes people "light up" i.e. what's their passion.

Find Out More About Kerrie

Pinterest -

Website -

Facebook - and

Kerrie Paterson writes contemporary women's fiction and small town romance—stories about women in their 40s and above who have reached a crossroads in their life. She loves to write about women’s relationships with their friends and family, as well as their romances.

When she’s not writing, she’s a Scout leader, crew for a local drama theatre, taxi driver for her teenage son and keeper of the family knowledge (aka ‘Mum, have you seen my camera / phone / cable etc?’). In her spare time (ha!), she's a yoga student, keen photographer and avid reader.

Kerrie lives in the Hunter Valley, Australia.


  1. Kerrie, your book sounds amazing. I’ll be putting it on my TBR, for sure. I do agree with you about the small town ‘vibe’, and people having so many pulls on their time, and I absolutely adore beta heroes. To me they ring so true! A million years ago when I was growing up in Harbord (Sydney) and people used to walk everywhere, my suburb was like a country town. Everyone knew everyone, and people would chat as you walked by. People helped each other as neighbours. I love that. I do think it still happens, but it’s more friends helping friends now.

    1. Thanks Malvina - I'd love to hear what you think of Elsie's Place! Suburbs and communities can be like a small town but its a rare thing these days. We all seem to be too busy to do more than smile and wave at the neighbours as we pass by.

  2. Hi Kerrie. I love a beta hero, too - a 'can do' man with a good heart. Not many of those in city settings but, thankfully, they seem to abound in stories like yours set in small towns. Yet another reason to enjoy rural-type romances.

    1. Absolutely! It's funny, isn't it, how there aren't many beta heroes in city set books. Long live the small town romance!

  3. Thanks Kerrie for a lovely look at small towns. Now wonder you love writing them.

    1. Thanks so much for having me, Cassandra! It's always lovely to be here :)

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts as to why small town settings appeal to so many readers and writers, Kerrie. I've bought "Elsie's Place" and can't wait to read it.

    1. Hi Sharon, thanks so much for buying Elsie's Place. It has a special place in my heart so I hope you enjoy it!


We love getting comments. Why not leave one?!