This gives me an opportunity to chat a little about my upcoming book, Chasing Sunsets.
How about the story behind the story?
2004 brought to Florida what will forever be known as the Summer of Hurricanes (not to mention tropical storms). First Charley tore us to pieces. He was then followed by Frances, who was then followed by Ivan and Jeanne. There were others that built to Hurricane Force but either died out too soon or just never made it to land. But these four--Charley, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne--were the four that devastated Florida.
I know. I was there.
Afterward, I was looking for a place to go for a writer's retreat. Everything on the east side of the state (where we'd gone previously) was still in a state of disrepair. So, I started looking to the west. One afternoon, while having my hair trimmed, I mentioned this dilemma to my hairdresser. She suggested Cedar Key, a tiny island off the west coast of Florida and somewhat near the panhandle.
I called a good friend of mine, Janice Elsheimer, said the word "Road Trip" and away we went.
We found Cedar Key to be a delightful little town. It is, in fact, an island...part of a group of keys...but to me it was more than that. It was the island time forgot. Not only did my cell service cease (for which I was grateful!) but everything about the location screamed of another era, another lifestyle.
Janice and I returned again (and again and again). The next time I brought a stack of magazines to sit and thumb through. I remember it clearly. I was sitting on the bed in our condo, Janice was sitting on the sofa. We were both flipping the pages of various magazines when I stopped, tore one out and said, "Wanna know the story behind this ad?"
Janice said she did. And so I began to weave a tale, as I saw it, of four sisters and the childhood friend who impacted their lives in ways they wouldn't know until they were all adults. A few weeks later, I came home, worked on a proposal, and sent it to my editor extraordinaire, Vicki Crumpton. She liked what she saw, took it to committee, and they liked what they saw.
Three novels were "born."
Well... they were gestating...
Book One, Chasing Sunsets, will be released in May 2011. I not only look forward to holding my "baby" in my hands, I look forward the taking my readers away to a tropical paradise (at least to me it is...), to a place so distinct, so calming, so ... Cedar Key.