This month we’re talking about places that inspire us. Before I give what might sound like a too-trite answer, let me explain. I’ve lived an entirely land-locked life. I grew up in Illinois. I now live in Arkansas. I think that’s why I’m obsessed with the coastal settings.
It can be the rocky, rugged shores of Maine, or the grassy dunes and powdery sand of the Carolinas. I’ve dipped my toes in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, but due to proximity, I’ve spent most of my beach time on the Gulf of Mexico.
Even living land-locked in the mid-South, the Gulf has had a big impact on our lives. Tropical Storm Bill is passing through now, dropping inches of rain we certainly don’t need. Though we didn’t bear the brunt, we felt the impact and rallied to support those whose lives were turned upside down by hurricanes like Ivan, Rita, and, of course, Katrina. The economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was keenly felt as well.
I’ve always been intrigued by stories about people who are drawn to the water. I loved reading about the effect the WWII blackouts had on coastal towns in Karen White’s On Folly Beach. I admit I bawled my way through Nicholas Sparks’ Message in a Bottle. And, I’m still waiting for that ‘will ‘o the wisp of the bounding main’, Captain Rhett Butler, to sweep me off to New Orleans for a honeymoon filled with unabashed debauchery.
When the idea for my September release, Going Deep, came to me, I had to dive in right away. I admit I fell in love with the idea of writing a frenemies-to-lovers story first, but when the characters revealed themselves to be a hard-driving journalist and a sexy marine biologist, I knew there was no better place to put them to work than the gulf coast. Where better to test the resilience of love than in a place routinely battered by both man and nature but keeps coming back as sure as the tide?
What’s your happy place? Do you love the sound of waves crashing? The wind whipping ‘cross the plain? Or, are you unable to sleep if you can’t hear the bare of horns and wail of sirens?
Here’s a little peek at Going Deep:
Brooke Hastings almost won a Pulitzer Prize for her hard-hitting reportage. Now she’s sitting on the story of a lifetime and wants to prove she’s not a one-hit-wonder. But in order to get the world to take notice, she’ll need the help of the one person she loves to hate—Brian Dalton.
Brian Dalton stumbled into celebrity when he landed a show on the Earth Channel. But the hunky marine biologist never forgot the serious, studious boy who left Mobile a decade before. Now back in Alabama, he’s looking for the quiet life he always wanted and hoping for a chance with the girl he always loved. When Brooke asks him to help expose some of the lingering effects of the Gulf oil disaster, Brian jumps at the chance to help preserve the place both call home…