Circle Island Bookmobile Tour Heads West

This month, the Circle Island Bookmobile is heading towards the open sea and the cliffs facing west. This side of Circle Island is known for its sea caves. Most of the caves have to be explored at low tide when the waves aren’t pounding away at the rocky shore. We’re going to stop at one of the scenic viewpoints along the highway to discover the second novel in the Circle Island Series. 

TRUTHS TO MYSELF is a story about Gwen and her journey to find love again. Her moral compass is shattered when she loses Dan. She finds her way with the help of her cousin, Liz, and a mysterious black book delivered to her by an equally mysterious stranger.

Learning to love again after loss is a theme I explored when I took my first NaNoWriMo challenge in 2007. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) happens every November. The challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I had lost my father that year and thought that writing a novel would help me get through the feelings I had with death. I didn’t want to tell my story of loss; I wanted to reflect on how death touches all of us.

That first draft in 2007 of TRUTHS TO MYSELF fit the fictional setting of Circle Island, although at the time I wrote it I hadn’t even imagined that I would create a series of books, or conceive of a fictional location in the Pacific Northwest called Circle Island. I began the NaNoWriMo challenge with the simple need to write my first novel. I followed up successfully with two more NaNoWriMo wins. The first drafts from those years have been mapped out among the eight compass points in the series. I’ll be visiting all of the locales on my bookmobile tour.

From first drafts to self-publication, I’ve been building my author platform and looking for an audience for my books. It hasn’t been smooth sailing getting this far, but my course has been set. My first novel, BELOW THE FLAME, is ready for release this spring, and will be followed with a late summer release of TRUTHS TO MYSELF. The first volume of short stories from the Circle Island Series, already distributed by Smashwords to major ebook retailers, can be downloaded for free. If you’ve already read it, I would really appreciate a review:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/506139

My book recommendation this month is a classic love story which was adapted into a TV mini series. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough, follows the Cleary family and their move from New Zealand to Australia. I just finished this saga of forbidden love. While reading, I had to revision the characters as the author imagined them. My mind would often fall back to memory of the actors on the small screen in 1983. As with many adaptions from print to film, visual elements change the way we connect with the characters. Fee, Meggie and Justine all struggle to love the men in their lives.  The story starts in 1915 when Meggie has just turned four. That’s a century ago, but there is something in the challenges she faced in loving the wrong man that I could still relate to today. 

The next blog is due out on the last Wednesday of February. I’ll introduce you to THE BIRDS, the third novel in the Circle Island Series, when the bookmobile heads southwest to meet up again with Helena, the center of this story of addiction.