Mibby isn’t the most adventurous person—emotionally or relationally—but she has great insight into people and that has endeared her to readers around the world. I worked very hard to make her real and relatable.
[Spoiler alert! If you haven’t read the three books of the Garden Gates series, you might want to back away slowly and grab your Kindle. All others may proceed.)
When we last saw Mibby, she was settling into her new marriage and opening up a garden center named The Walled Garden. As the real-life owner of a garden center, I saw this career change for Mibby as the death knell of her time as a heroine. Garden center owners are too busy with seasonal demands of plants and people to lead interesting lives, and a protagonist in a novel must have an interesting life.
Soon after she and Larry opened the The Walled Garden, a recession hit the Grand Valley. This was quite a challenge for the new business owners, but they got some great advice from Louise’s husband, Manley. They cut their overhead by working more hours themselves and managed their inventory more efficiently.
See what I mean about garden center owners? Boring!
Just when Mibby hit her stride as a business owner and Ky was getting ready to graduate from high school, Mibby discovered she was pregnant. Not planned but welcomed wholeheartedly. Charlotte Peony was born on the day of the last killing frost. She’s brought sunshine into the family—Ky is crazy about his baby sister—and maybe just a little bit of chaos. They converted the garden center’s office into a nursery. Mibby swears her baby-making days are behind her, but Larry is loving being a daddy.
Ky is attending Colorado University at Boulder. The coursework in the engineering department is tough, but he’s managing the academics very well. He’s also volunteers as a Young Life leader at Boulder HS. Ky plays the guitar for worship. He’s wondering if engineering is what he wants to do the rest of his life. He tries to go to several Rockies games each year and he plays on an intramural baseball team. His girlfriend transferred to an aviation college in Arizona. It’s been hard. He worries they won’t be able to maintain a long-distance relationship.
Larry is still Larry—hardworking, a bit of a goof, and crazy in love with his family. He wishes he had more time to be involved with church, but he takes his responsibility to his family and employees very seriously. He misses his dahlia garden, but he just couldn’t manage the labor-intensive part of such a demanding plant. Still, he is a bit of a plant evangelist. When he stumbles across a variety that thrives in the challenging climate of western Colorado, he sings its praises to anyone who listens. The ladies of local garden clubs think he’s a rock star.
So there you have it, Mibby et al are doing quite well. I do get requests for more books about Mibby, and I appreciate that my readers love her so well. Who knows?
What would you like to see happen in Mibby’s life?
You can buy any of my books here.