Fans have asked where I get my ideas for my stories. In all of my writing, setting has always been very important to me. When I read, I like to know where I’m at and then immerse myself in places I have visited or places I’ve never been.
So when we moved to Cedar Key six years ago, I knew I had my setting for future novels and I was inspired by the small town community, the people, the sense of family and love and the beautiful scenery surrounding this island fishing village.
I write women’s fiction so my stories focus on relationships. In book one of my Cedar Key Series, Spinning Forward, my main character was coming to grips with her self-identity. In book two, Casting About, I wanted to write about the father’s side of a custody battle in addition to the difficulties of becoming a new step-mom.
Book three in my series, Sunrise on Cedar Key, will be released on October 25. Readers will remember Grace Stone from book two and this is Grace’s story. My focus for this novel is friendships, the sister relationship, a past love and a present love. And of course . . . knitting. My novels have a knitting theme because in Spinning Forward Sydney has relocated to Cedar Key and opens a knitting shop where she also spins dog and cat fur into yarn. I’m a dedicated knitter, so using this theme came easily for me, but I also needed to be realistic. Sydney needed a means to support herself financially. Jobs on Cedar Key are not that plentiful. We don’t have any major stores, hospitals, doctor offices, or factories. I needed to give Sydney a job that made sense for this island and opening a yarn shop was perfect. In book two, her daughter Monica now owns the yarn shop and in Sunrise on Cedar Key, Grace’s aunt Maude has begun a new venture . . . she’s offering knitting retreat weekends for women across the country, to come for a weekend of knitting and bonding at the Blue Moon Knitting Retreat.
Sunrise on Cedar Key also focuses on the sister relationship. I’m an only child so I’ve never had the experience of sibling rivalry or sibling love. However, growing up I was fascinated by the on again, off again, up and down relationship between my mother and her sister. So the idea for Grace and Chloe stemmed from that.
Having been to France many times and being half French, I’m a confirmed Francophile so it was easy to develop Grace’s love interest into the Frenchman of Lucas Trudeau who opens the new book shop and coffee café on Cedar Key.
So as you can see, I take a bit of my own history and then I let my imagination go wild to create characters and plots which result in another novel for my Cedar Key Series. At the moment I’m on deadline for book four which will be released in 2012 and tentatively titled, Postcards From Cedar Key. A little sneak preview: You’ll meet Berkley Whitmore toward the end of Sunrise On Cedar Key and she’s the main character for book four. Berkley comes to the island first just to check it out for possible relocation from Salem, Massachusetts, where she had owned a chocolate shop with her mother and grandmother. She immediately falls in love with the town, meets Chloe, Grace and Suellen and decides the island is the perfect place to open a chocolate shop. But that isn’t the only reason that she’s been drawn to Cedar Key because the past collides with the present, finally giving Berkley answers that she has searched for most of her life.
I want to thank each and every one of you for the support you’ve shown for my books. I know all authors say they have the best fans, but I truly know that I do! So I hope you’ll enjoy Sunrise On Cedar Key, because writing these novels continues to fulfill my passion and love for writing and sharing my stories with you completes that passion.