book cover inspiration

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These fences are put up to prevent beach erosion over the winter.

As some of you know, my novel The Mosquito Hours is being published in spring 2014 by Thorncraft Publishing, an amazing new small house that publishes literary fiction by women writers.

(Wow—it is really surreal and exciting to say that! My novel is being published! There—I said it again. Still surreal and exciting.)

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All the lifeguard chairs collected for their winter rest!

Last week my sister was visiting and we took all the kids out to the beach. It was one of the last really warm days of October (by “really warm” I mean maybe about 60 degrees). In spite of the relative warmth of the day, we still layered up for the beach, as the wind off the water never ceases blowing which it makes it feel a good deal colder.

It is really strange to visit the beach once summer has passed—it’s a vastly different vista. Still beautiful, definitely more wild. Beach-combing is a whole other world, too. We found giant conches, horseshoe crab shells, spiral shells, and more. Treasures you don’t normally find during the summer. So the kids had a wonderful time exploring this beach they know so well from a new perspective.


Can you see my sister and my niece over there on the left?

My personal mission on this autumnal beach visit was somewhat less innocent. I needed to sneak all the way up the beach to the place where the shore is cut off by a jetty—the place where some of the old beach houses sit in the sand a mere 50 feet from the high tide line. Technically it’s private property up there. But this ain’t Malibu, people. Not many folks are hanging around the beach once the fall sets in. And I needed to send my publisher—who is in Tennessee, a very different landscape than ours here in Southern New England!—some photos of the area so we can brainstorm some book cover ideas. I wanted her to see the inspiration for the house in which my protagonists live. A house that has been in their family for several generations. A house that survived the Great Hurricane of ’38.

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We left the littler kids with my mom down the beach and my sister, niece and I sort of, well, trespassed. But we didn’t get caught and I think that makes it totally okay. I had an excuse prepared, as I am not quick with the lies under pressure. But as I suspected, no one was around anyhow.

There is so much more to do to turn the manuscript of The Mosquito Hours into a real book. I had NO IDEA how much there would be to do until I received the publication schedule. But I look forward to every step in this adventure. And I can’t wait to hold the book in my hands!