San Marcos Provides a Haven for Area Writers

By Michaela Jackson on May 2, 2013 at 3:45 am EST
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PHOTO CREDIT: Jesse Knish

It must be something in the water.

San Marcos is a haven for prolific writers, who frequently share their experiences of the small Texas town with the reading world.

For example, when Elizabeth Crook thinks of home, San Marcos is the only place that comes to mind.

The accomplished author grew up here, and although she now hangs her hat in Austin, her years in San Marcos show through in her writing.

“My whole life, San Marcos has provided me with a sense of home. And even though I’ve lived in different places, I always think of going there as going home,” says Crook, who has written three novels. “It feels like a solid place that represents a huge span of humanity, but in a small way.”

One of Crook’s short stories, called Dad Versus the Dress Code, chronicles an epic battle between the local school system and the town’s liberal residents over a restrictive dress code. The story is based on an actual controversy that split the town in two when Crook was in the sixth grade.

“There’s such a rich history to the town, and you just feel the complexities of human nature there for some reason,” Crook says. “The town is so mixed in every way, and there’s nothing static about it.”

Other writers with San Marcos ties include mystery writer Susan Albert, romance novelist Paula Hamilton and Texas historian Bill Soyars.

The spectrum of writers San Marcos has cultivated speaks to the town’s richness and depth.

“If you just drove through the town, you might think it’s just a small town. But when you’re involved in it and you know everybody, it adds a whole new feeling,” Crook says. “It’s a place that I’m so deeply familiar with that it has a certain resonance for me.”

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