I wrote Gone North while living in Mendocino County. It was my second novel. The story is fictional but I must admit it’s based on a collage of interesting characters I met who came from all over the US to enjoy the peace and quiet of “Mendo Land.” I settled on Mendocino County after I made my way north from Santa Cruz, then Petaluma and for a while I was a waitress at a Chinese restaurant. One day I brought home table scraps for a friend’s puppy. A woman who was living in a cabin in the woods came up to me later and said, “Hey, I’d like some of those scraps.” There was always an interesting personality in the back woods. And never underestimate the intelligence of those same backwoods folks. More often than not they were from well-educated, prominent families and they were always willing to help their neighbors.
Suellen Ocean is the author of the satirical novel Gone North. Available here:
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