This past summer, I had to go on a business trip for the Evil Day Job I don’t have any longer. I ended up in Kansas in June. It was surprisingly green with rolling hills and river valleys. Not the sort if place I expected to like, but it was quite lovely. The trip required that I spend the weekend. On Saturday I worked most of the day and on Sunday we needed something to do and on the freeway, we’d seen a sign for the Oz Winery in Wamego. We had to see what that was all about and my boss loved wine, so that was a no brainer. So late Sunday afternoon, we took off for Wamego. What a treat it was. The town looks like something out o the forties or fifties. Its incredibly clean and immaculately kept. We did go to the OZ Winery, but we also ended up touring the Oz Museum, passing Toto’s Tacos, and wandering between the buildings toward the park behind main street along the town’s version of a Yellow Brick Road. When we visited the winery, we found out that the town celebrates OZtoberfest and I bought Dominic a bottle of ‘Ding Dong The Wine Is Red.’ It was idyllic to say the least.
We had lunch in a small restaurant that overlooked the park and I had some simple, but amazing food. Then afterwards we wandered the park with its cannon, stone windmill, model boat launch, and swimming pool where kids played and laughed in the summer heat. Toward the back of the park is the small area where the town moved all the historic buildings.
Lucky for me, I had finished a novel just before I’d left on the trip and was in the mood for some inspiration. The town was a perfect location and the ideas began to flow. The result was Dumped In Oz and when I went back to Kansas, I followed that up with Stuck in Oz, and I will be starting Trapped in Oz soon. While these stories have nothing to do with the fictional location, the town itself seemed OZian. It was special and something very unexpected. I hope I get top go back.
Dumped in Oz is available for Preorder at Dreamspinner Press
Because of an opportunity he’d be a fool to turn down, Lyle Powers transfers to his company’s warehouse in central Kansas. The last thing he expects is to meet another gay man in the small town, let alone one who captures his interest.
Roger Kypers is a recovering alcoholic with a twelve-year-old daughter he only gets to see for part of the summer. Neither Lyle nor Roger is looking for a relationship, and they fumble at the start, yet emotions build as Roger shows Lyle the landmarks of Oz.
But when Roger’s wicked witch of an ex-wife threatens to take his daughter away for good if he doesn’t act “normally,” he’s faced with the challenge of letting her get away with it, or fighting to accept himself and standing up for what he knows is right.
17 Responses to “I Spent Time In OZ”
I cannot wait to read this as with all of your books! I love the Wizard of Oz, it’s my favorite movie of all time. I would go nuts in a place like that, I’ll have to try and visit that town someday. I’ve been to Judy Garland’s childhood home but never here.
I love the movie as well. The town was so wonderful I had to write stories about it. People usually fly over Kansas on their way to someplace else. So I thought they deserved their own stories. I really hope you love it.
Sounds like a lovely place, and love the blurb. =}
Thank you so much. I’m excited about it.
I remember watching the movie (once a year) when I was young. Then when my kids were young watching it over and over. That picture of the town reminds me a little of Chesaning Michigan. A town i lived in for a while when I was younger. Just like all Andrew Grey books…..I can’t wait for this one.
Excellent Bonnie. I hated the movie until I got to high school. I never liked the witch. Now I love it.
You’re right, it does look like Chesaning!
Love the sound of this one (as if I don’t love all yours, right?)
The story behind it just makes it all the more special. Can’t wait!
I’m so glad Tempeste. At the time I was traveling there, I’d been assigned a project I didn’t want, so I felt a little Dumped in Oz.
Well written books are a gift, those same said books sometimes have plots so convoluted, they make Russian novelists blush. Your books are the perfect combination of good writing and excellent story telling. Thanks for the gift.
Thank you so much. That means a lot!!!! Sending you a hug. You really made my day.
So excited for another great story. I love your books and the characters you create. Cannot wait to read this one!
I’m excited about it too. It’s a different setting and one not many people use. My editor said it was like a love letter to a fly over state.
Looks great, Andrew! I know Kansas is a fly over state, but I think it’s a fantastic place to live. We have rolling flint hills, sunflower fields, beautiful lakes and the best people ever! LOL
I know. I was surprised at how pretty it was when I was there in June and the people were so friendly and helpful. It was the most pleasant of surprises.
I just finished reading “Dumped in Oz” and loved it. It was my first book by you that I’ve read, but it won’t be my last. I want to thank you for portraying Wamego as a caring, pleasant town in which to live. I live about 30 miles from Wamego and have been there a few times over the years, so I am vaguely familiar with it. Many people like to make fun of Kansas, but I think it is a nice place to live and am glad to see it portrayed as such.
Thank you. When I was there I found the town charming and the people of Kansas warm and welcoming. I very much wanted to celebrate that. There are two more stories in the series.
I enjoyed Dumped in Oz very much. I live a few miles away from chittenango, NY where Frank Balm lived.
It is nice to know that there is other places as crazy about Oz as they are.