Out_of_TimeHow My Santorini Experience Became a Book

I’ll always remember the first day I was inspired to write. It was 1971 and I was on a trip to the Greek island of Santorini. I was watching a woman who must have been ninety, climbing a steep hill to where I was standing on top. She smiled broadly as she approached me, hardly out of breath. Her eyes shone with the love she might feel if she were meeting her favorite grandchild. She tried to talk with me but the language barrier cut our conversation short. I was so affected by her welcoming smile, and by the other friendly people in her country, that I wrote unending pages of my feelings. It was then I knew writing was something I was compelled to do.

In 1991, I returned to Santorini to research my novel, Out of Time on Santorini. I sent out many query letters until 2001, when a small publisher promised to publish the story in two years. After only one, the company folded. The company president told me she’d expected the book to be one of her bestsellers and asked me to vow I would continue my search for publication. The book sat idle until 2015 when I read it anew, revived it and kept my promise.


How Spindrift Cove Came To Be

After writing Out of Time on Santorini, I thought using a setting closer to home than a Greek island would make research easier. Even easier would be inventing a locale.

I pondered one of my quirks: Each time I move to a new city, I seek an outdoor space I call “my church.” This is a place I go when I need to see a problem more clearly. It’s almost always near water. It’s a place where I can sit on the beach and let the waves calm me, so I can view the world with greater perspective.

The town in my book had to be perched on a hill, overlooking the ocean, with a beach and a bluff. The population would be small. The locale required places of employment, like a restaurant, a school, a post office and maybe even a hardware store. The town also needed a quirky building. How about a pajama factory?

In addition, the scenery would be Courier and Ives.  An old Victorian home would add a final touch.  And the name of the town had to have a romantic, Murder-She-Wrote quality.

Voila! The birth of Spindrift Cove.