This Is Baltimore, Too
If you have read more than one Stephen King novel or short story, you have visited the small towns of Derry, Maine and Castle Rock, Maine on several occasions, for these fictional places are the settings for stories such as The Body (Stand By Me), It, Cujo, Needful Things, and Secret Window, Secret Garden. King has written about these places in such extraordinary detail that fans like myself and my mother, who is a bigger King fan than I can ever claim to be, feel as if these places are real. We half expect to go to Derry and hang out in the Derry Public Library, take a dip in the Castle River, or go grab some lunchmeat from the Florida Market. We know the people of Derry and Castle Rock almost as well as we know ourselves. We have lived through the strange goings-on in those towns with them. Derry and Castle Rock are home to us. Much like Baltimore City is home to me. Literally. For I was reared in Baltimore and still live in the same area I grew up in.
The setting for my novels is a place that I hold near and dear in my heart, my hometown of Baltimore. If you’ve watched The Wire or The Corner or Homocide you’re probably wondering how could I love such a drug infested, crime ridden place as Baltimore. Well, the answer is simple. I know of places in Baltimore that are wonderful. I know people in Baltimore whose biggest dream is not to be a drug dealer. I know mothers and fathers who actually love and care for their children. I know children who walk past drug dealers to go to school. I’ve seen drug dealers move out of the way of these children so they can have a brighter future. I know teachers who work their behinds off to make sure their students receive the best education they can give them. I know men and women who volunteer at churches and recreation centers so that they can help the community grow.
These are the people and places that populate my novels. They are the reason I write, the reason I am compelled to write. There are people and places in Baltimore that are so unique, courageous and off the beaten path that most find them hard to believe. They think of them as Urban Legends. But I know they exists. I’ve seen them, talked with them, played with them, laughed with them, fought with them, cried with them.
Mind you, not one of them is perfect. And that’s what makes them so special. In my fiction, I share and, in most cases, expose their secrets, joys, pains, loves, lies, setbacks, triumphs. With This Is Baltimore, Too I celebrate the people and places that inhabit my novels so that you, too, can see the truth and feel like you’re at home when you read my work. Of my novel, Water In A Broken Glass, Ed Doyle-Gillespie wrote, “One of the other vivid characters in this novel is the City of Baltimore. Rose takes us through familiar places and streets to create a setting that seems to breathe and flow through Mimms and the other characters. Their motivations, their sense of right and wrong, their use of language and turn of phrase, all speak of Baltimore. We know these people, or at least move around them in our daily lives.”
So, take some time to watch my video blog and get to know the rest of Baltimore and its fantastic people. During President Obama’s Inauguration, Sen. Alexander quoted Alex Haley: “Find the good and praise it.” That’s what This Is Baltimore, Too is all about. Finding the good in Baltimore and praising it. And contrary to popular belief, the good ain’t hard to find.
Happy Viewing and Reading.