I have posted my letter to the Dear Reader, Love, Author Blog. Hope you enjoy it!
Have you ever walked along a beach somewhere on this glorious planet and found instant inspiration, an epiphany of sorts? Well, that is exactly what happened to me one glorious December day seven years ago on Clearwater Beach, Florida. Right out of the blue, as it were. Here’s what happened: Strolling along on wet sand, I came across the outline of a heart. But what was written inside stopped mine. Only one word. Bella. It became completely clear that I write a book about a beach girl called Bella. And from that bolt of insight, Bella was born.
As sometimes happens, an almost simultaneous incident occurred; this time a terrible one: The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. The entire world was inundated with wrenching photos of once blue water slicked over by deadly oil, birds drenched and weighted down with the deadly stuff, and BP executives spewing invectives about how it was not their fault. And something snapped in me. I sat down and wrote One Pelican at a Time: A Story of the Gulf Oil Spill. Not only was Bella the protagonist. Her best friend Britt joined her in the effort. And that book began the Bella and Britt beach series.
My newest offering, Mystery at Manatee Key, is the fourth in the series and features Britt front and center. It is she alone who must rescue Bella and the ranger from a ring of manatee smugglers. By now, the series reader is familiar with the ranger, who is warm-hearted and loves all things beachy. Dwayne Smarr is the bad guy and Britt’s nemesis throughout much of the book. He is so bad that he’s fun to love to hate. With kids, black and white rules, and Dwayne has no shades of gray!
Throughout the series, I have tried to infuse a love of and respect for nature and Mother Earth, the only home we humans have at this point in our galaxy. Without being preachy, it is my hope that in reading the books, children will find a fun story, interesting facts, and a love of learning interwoven throughout the pages. If all that occurs, I’ve been a successful author and have done my intended job.