Every time a writer finishes a new novel and sends it out to readers, she holds her breath, hoping readers enjoy the story as much as she loved writing the book.
On tenterhooks, she waits for the first reviews and e-mail comments from those who delved into the fresh plot and unique characters. She put so much time, effort, and heart in the book. To prove it, just look at her acknowledgement page. There she bares her soul. Her soft spot. Her vulnerability.
I’m especially excited about my new release, When Mountains Fall, which means I’m particularly nervous about its impact. And yes, my acknowledgement page is soul-baring:
To all our B.C. friends in Port McNeill and the Broughton Archipelago
My husband, Steve, and I co-captained boats starting in 1980, even if we had never owned or operated large vessels before that year. Ro-ven, a 34 foot Tollycraft sedan-with twin gas engines, took us around Lake Washington, Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, the Gulf Islands, and Desolation Sound. More ‘extreme’ adventures began in 1999 when we bought Intrepid, a Kadey-Krogen trawler, 42 feet, and powered by a single diesel Lehman. We cruised up and down the Inside Passage, two times making it all the way to Alaska and back. Transformative, unforgettable experiences.
I wrote about the isolated reaches north of Vancouver Island, B.C. in my first novel, Last Resort. Lie Catchers is my paean to the amazing town of Petersburg, Alaska. And here is When Mountains Fall, the first of my Women at the Helm Mystery Series reveling in the people and places around the Broughton Islands. Truth is, the settings are so grand and the people living in the Broughtons are so special, that capturing their essence is not easy. I encourage you to witness the rustic beauty yourself, cruising the fjords, stopping at marinas, fishing for salmon, cod, prawns, and crab. Sublime experiences!
Since my passion is writing page-turning mysteries, I took great freedom in changing names and places, and I ramped up local conflicts to darken my plot. Still, I hope I captured the loveliness of the area and honored the hardy, friendly folks who live and work in the Archipelago. My husband and I have fond memories of many good times in Kwatsi Bay (Anca & Max, Marieke & Russell), Echo Bay (Pierre & Tove), Lagoon Cove (Bill & Jean), to name a few of our favorite marinas and owners.
Many generous people helped me with this story. My faithful book group, Barbara Wyckoff, Marti Valley, and Sue Ratty-Seeman critiqued the polished draft before my talented friend and editor, Laura Kelly, helped me make the story shine. Beta readers, Bev Protopapas and Barbara Cutshaw gave my story a close reading for the spit-polish stage.
To my husband, Steve, my biggest cheerleader, and to all of you who inspire me to publish my stories, a heartfelt thank you.
Readers, I hope you enjoy
this book of my heart,
When Mountains Fall,
out in October!