December 11, 2016

Wyoming with Resident Barbara Graham

I’m often asked, “Why do you live in Wyoming and kill imaginary people in East Tennessee?”

It’s a fair question. The simple answer is “because people are not all drawn to the same places to live”. Not even imaginary people. I love living in Wyoming. Even the more desolate landscapes call to me and the famous ones—Yellowstone and Old Faithful, the Tetons, and the Snowy Range are spectacular. I have lived here for more than half of my life. That said, the characters of my “Murder by” mystery series inhabit a tiny county in East Tennessee. They are not moving westward, thank goodness, because I would hate to live somewhere with their murder rate.

I didn’t just stab at a map to find them a home. I actually lived for several years in East Tennessee. It is beautiful too and has more trees. While it is true on a certain level that all people share some commonalities, it is equally true that regional differences exist. The sheriff in my fictional county would be able to adjust to life in the west but Theo, his wife and owner of a quilt shop, would not. She is descended from some of the original settlers in the Appalachian area. She is not moving.

Back to Wyoming. My dogs consider it their duty to take me for a walk every morning. They enjoy the walking paths around two lakes and there we see other people with dogs, the mountains, migrating birds of many species including pelicans and swans, the occasional otter or marmot, fishermen, joggers and moms with strollers. Sometimes I discuss upcoming plot points with the pups. They rarely listen because they are too busy sniffing the plants next to the path. Oddly, I have noticed the number of walkers drops when the temperature dives to zero and the lakes freeze and snow appears on the path. On special winter days, the sunlight warms the ice and makes it sing, the sky is gorgeous and blue, and at times the dogs and I are the only ones to experience it.

Wyoming is the least populated of all the states with a bit over half a million people. And yes, I have heard there are more antelope than humans. We think nothing of driving over a hundred miles to visit a shopping mall. Cellular phone service has gotten much better but it is not everywhere. Most roads are two lanes. Deer are suicidal. Howling wind is a factor. The temperature can range from minus forty to over a hundred degrees.  

I don’t ever want to live anywhere else.

Barbara will pick a winner from those who comment.  Leave contact info and the winner will get a stuffed (toy) jackalope.

Visit Barbara Graham’s site here: for more information on her world.


  1. As I now live in west Tennessee (known as the mid-South), I plan on checking out the murder rate of the eastern part of the state. Been through Wyoming and this post makes me want to return. I'd love to hear the lake sing,

  2. Neat post! I visited Wyoming for the first time a couple years ago and was stunned by its beauty. It really could be worth braving those cold days and high winds, and you can always shop on-line. As for East Tennessee, I think the southern Appalachians are a perfect place to set a murder, and I am doing exactly that in my next book.

  3. I enjoyed your fascinating and descriptive post about Wyoming which I would love to visit. I love wide open spaces, blue skies which stretch on forever. I need space and never tire of the mountains and the stunning beauty.

  4. Your wonderful ode to Wyoming Touched my heart and soul. When a locale calls to you it is very special and meaningful. Your walks with your dogs sounds inspiring and invigorating. What a setting which I plan to travel to and enjoy.

  5. Cheyenne was where we first ate at Taco John's, then discovered one an hour south of us (Indiana), and saw the Sinclair Dino:) I've also been to Sheridan, Cody, and of course Yellowstone:) I agree; your state is beautiful, and Cheyenne is always a stop for us on the way to Colorado.

    The only place I've visited in East Tennessee would be Gatlinburgh.

  6. Have been only in the corner if Wyoming when visiting Yellowstone. Was gorgeous back then (1960's) and would wager it hasn't changed a lot. Never been to Tennessee but would love to. What a wonderfully diverse country we live in.

    1. Contact info:

  7. Oops, I neglected to leave my contact info:

  8. My family used to live in north-east Tennessee/southeast Kentucky, but I've never been to Wyoming. I'd love to visit someday -- during summer!

  9. I love Barbara's books! Wyoming has such a diverse landscape. I have been to some really interesting places there. I am from Montana, but I live only about an hours drive from the Wyoming border.
    My email is:

  10. Wyoming is definitely a gorgeous state. I've been all over, although of course, Yellowstone is my favorite part. I'm not too familiar with TN.


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