About the book:Meg Marks is a young lawyer raised off the coast of the Carolinas. An
And now . . . Behind the book:
Reading a good story takes you away. On the flip side, writing a good story can also take you to another place . . . but when you are the writer, the destination is up to you.
My first novel, A Familiar Shore, takes place on shores very familiar to me. I’m originally from Michigan, but I live in North Carolina. The winters are great here, but I long for the lakes every summer. I miss cool summer mornings. I miss sunsets over water. I miss the sound of water lapping against rocks and docks.
I sent my character, Meg, to the place I love, northern Michigan. Not da U.P. mind ya. J Northwestern, lower Michigan. Lake Charlevoix is central to the area I visit every summer. My family has a place on a lake nearby, and when the temperature hits 90+ degrees in North Carolina, I start pining for the cool, salt-free lakes up north.
So by sending Meg to Michigan, I tried to experience the setting for the first time, through new eyes. While the area is a great tourist draw, most visitors originate from somewhere in the Midwest. My character grew up on boat travelling up and down the Eastern Seaboard. She’d never been more than a couple hundred miles inland before. I sent her to “the middle” and she’s stunned to find that she likes it there.
When she arrives, the Traverse City cherry trees are in late bloom, the leaves are just popping out, and the cool air strikes a distinct change from the heavy humid air of the Carolinas in spring. The other distinct change Meg experiences, is a shift from living alone and growing up with only one relative, to being surrounded by a huge extended family, albeit someone else’s. And she’s always longed for a big family. But when Meg uncovers a secret in this family’s past, they pull the welcome mat right out from under her feet.
Have you ever travelled to Northern Michigan? What was the deepest impression it left on you? For me, it’s the clear air and the stunning lakes.
If you’ve never been, I hope you’ll take a virtual tour with Meg by reading A Familiar Shore. Most of the story takes place over Memorial Day weekend, so spring is the perfect time to read it.