June 18. What seemed like a long way off a year ago is coming fast. You all have been so patient. I thank you for that.
I just reread Sweet Salt Air. I mean, wow, I’ve been distracted from it. I’ve probably read twenty books since I finished writing it, and now I’m working on my next book, so my psychic energy has been focused on that. No, no title for the new one yet. I don’t even want to talk much about its subject, because Sweet Salt Air is the one that’s going to take center stage now.
Rereading it, I felt right at home, and not only because the story came back so quickly, but because there’s so much of me in it.
How much? I’m asked that a lot, but, honestly, no book of mine is ever totally about me. I like being behind the scenes. That’s a fiction writer’s place. Still, I write about things I like, and, inevitably, little bits of me sneak through. Four such bits crept into Sweet Salt Air.
First, the setting. Maine was a second home for me growing up, and though I spent more time in the lakes region, the ocean always held a fascination. It still does, hence the photos below, which I took last weekend in Kennebunkport and Ogunquit.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the bathroom shot. We spent the night at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, and this has to be the most beautiful bathroom I’ve ever had! Back on point, though, I’ve written lots of books set along the Maine coast, most memorably For My Daughters and The Summer I Dared. And now there’s Sweet Salt Air, in which a fictitious island off the coast of Maine is a major character. So that’s part of me right there.
Second, herbs. I’m on slightly shaky ground here, because I don’t grow herbs myself, but there’s a whole lot of magic involved with the herbs on the island of Quinnipeague in Sweet Salt Air. Magic is my thing. I do believe in it.
Third, the blue-green décor in Nicole’s gorgeous beach house. Maybe it’s because I do adore the ocean – and though the North Atlantic tends to be gray-blue, blue-green is watery, so this has always been my favorite combo. The very first apartment my husband and I had was itty-bitty, but I did it all in blues and greens. I still remember the coverlet on our bed, the large picture over the bed (an ocean scene that we bought in Rockport, MA), even the china on which we ate our meals. All blue and green.
And fourth, knitting – specifically knitting in the Aran Isle style. I made a fisherman’s sweater when I was in college and, let me tell you, I was as challenged doing mine as Charlotte is doing hers. So all you would-be knitters who struggle to do it right will identify with this story!
Do any of the above items resonate with you?
If not, I’ll tell you about the inspiration look for Sweet Salt Air in my next blog. It’s different from my usual inspiration …