My recent book, “Hole in the Rock,” takes place in (and near) Moab, Utah. National parks surround Moab, including Canyonlands and Arches, and the area is famous for outdoor activities and incredible scenery. I always enjoy the natural beauty of a place, but I’m also someone who enjoys finding the interesting and offbeat places that small towns sometimes offer. And only twelve miles south of Moab, you’ll find “Hole N’ the Rock,” a place that’s definitely unusual. Here, you can stop for ice cream, buy mementos, visit the zoo, and most importantly, tour a house that was carved inside a giant red rock formation. After finding this place a number of years ago, I fell in love with its quirkiness and the fun sculptures on display outside. I also fell in love with the house that Albert and Gladys Christensen carved inside the rock and made into a comfortable home.
After visiting there, I wondered what it would be like to live inside a cave. And so, “Hole in the Rock” was born, my story about a girl whose family buys the place. Lizza is an animal-loving vegan who detests her dad’s job as a taxidermist. Her efforts to get him to change to a new career get her into more than a little hot water and ultimately result in the family’s move to the cave. (Of course, my story is fictional–people no longer live there). Now, Lizza not only gets to live with several taxidermied animals, she gets to be on display for tons of tourists day in and day out! What would you do if you were in her shoes?
Check out “Hole in the Rock” and find out for yourself. My middle grade book is a fun story with lots of laughs, along with messages about family, honesty, and acceptance. I fell in love with the actual Hole N’ the Rock when I visited. I hope you’ll give my book a try–you just might find youself falling in love with the place as well! Buy “Hole in the Rock” for a kid (or kid-at-heart adult) in your life and see for yourself.
I used the names of Albert and Gladys Christensen with respect. I think the people who built Hole N’ the Rock were pretty amazing. Lizza’s character is negative towards them at first, which is a reflection of her embarrassment over her situation. Lizza’s feelings don’t reflect mine, and they’re resolved as part of the story arc in my book. Also, many of the specifics of “Hole N’ the Rock” as described in my book are fictional or at least not fully accurate. I did this to streamline the story and because everyone should go visit the actual Hole N’ the Rock and find out how quirky, fun and lovable it is. Don’t just drive on by whenever you visit Moab, stop at Hole N’ the Rock and enjoy!