Old river towns abound in stories and I grew up in one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincennes,_Indiana. The wiki, of course, leaves out all the good stuff. The secret escape tunnel from the Harrison Mansion to the Wabash, the bullet hole in the wall. The Indian mound, gypsy encampments, seriously haunted houses and innumerable murders, one (on a train, no less) at the hands of my rascal great-uncle. It was a writer's nursery. An introduction by my dad to Adeline McElfresh, local author of 39 pop novels (in which Nurse Jane, later Doctor Jane, was perpetually torn between saving lives and getting married) cinched my future. I didn't have to choose between nurse, secretary and teacher (although I have been the latter). I could be a writer like Addie! My first published work was a letter to the editor of the Vincennes Sun-Commercial urging that puppy births be awarded the same journalistic attention given to human births, a position with which it is difficult to argue at six.