The Take Me Home series was inspired by 3 main things:
1/ Growing up in wild, wonderful West Virginia. It meant spending a lot of time outdoors- playing in the woods, swimming in rivers and creeks, climbing rocks, and being surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains in the country. It also meant being resourceful, creating things with your own two hands, and appreciating everything you were given.
2/ A deep affection for Appalachian culture and history. I've been re-reading the Foxfire books as part of my work for this collection and am continually amazed by how self-sufficient people in this region were not too long ago. The Foxfire books are a fascinating glimpse into how people in Appalachia lived off the land. If you have any interest in homesteading, history, or mountain culture, I highly recommend taking a look at both the books and the organization, Foxfire.org.
3/ [My sister] Lorisa Wiedenheft's poetry series about West Virginia. Lorisa's poetry captures the essence of growing up in West Virginia so perfectly. Read her poems here.