Editor's Note: Mark Van Voorhis, co-author of "The Well House," came to Hope in August 2015 to promote his book. This interview took place during that visit.

When Mark Van Voorhis co-wrote his book "The Well House," he felt it made good sense to have one of the main characters be from the town of Hope, Indiana.

And that was years before the first theatrical production of his book would take the stage in the same town. The Well House opens this weekend at WiLLow LeaVes of Hope on the north side of the Town Square.

Van Voorhis says that he lived in Columbus for about seven years and has friends in Hope.

"I was very familiar with the town, and of course the name of 'Hope' it just gives a lot of feeling that when all is down, there is always hope," he said. "And so there is quite a bit of hope in the story, about the town."

He describes the ties to the town in the book, which is being adapted for the stage by David Webster.

"One of the main characters in the story, his name is Clayton Wesley Riggs, and he comes from the farm community of Hope -- his family are two or three generations of pig farmers," Van Voorhis said.

Van Voorhis explains that the central theme of his book is the difference between the protagonist, Riggs, and Maggie O'Reilly, who he meets while attending Indiana University.

"He has a strong military background," Van Voorhis said. "His father and his grandfather were in the Marines and so he feels this great obligation to join the Marines."

But O'Reilly comes from a Chicago family of pacifists.

"They develop this relationship and become really, really good friends," Van Voorhis said.

After a year, he leaves to join the Marines.

"That is where the story begins," Van Voorhis said. "It is a unique story where he wants to fight for his country, to fight for freedom, to fight for truth and she doesn't quite understand that she has this really great friendship with him."

The opening scene of the book takes place in Vietnam, where Riggs' squad is attacked and wiped out by the North Vietnamese.

Much of the scenery from the book comes from Van Voorhis' own history. Originally from Anderson, he served in the U.S. Army and attended Indiana University, although he now lives in Utah. His co-author, Ed Kugler, was a sniper in the U.S. Marines and served in Vietnam.

Van Voorhis said he was also inspired by his time at IU.

"The Well House has a great tradition that if you kiss a girl there at midnight, then she becomes a co-ed at the university," he said. "So there we kind of drew that, and drew the town of Hope, and put the two together and came up with what I think is a good story."

Ultimately, Van Voorhis would like to see his book become a movie and believes that it could bring the same shine to Hope that the film "Hoosiers" brought to Knightstown, Indiana.

"I just think it fits for a small town community, and emphasizes all of the basic good traits of a small town," he said.