Just as I’m finishing up another book (#8), we receive the glorious news that our last book, Aloha Crossing, handed me the title of the 2009 Georgia of the Year for Middle Readers! As if that were not enough to send us over the moon, that same week we were notified by the Independent Publisher Book Awards that Aloha Crossing won the Gold medal for the Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction category. You can imagine our joy and delight at that news!
As all writers know, there’s a long lonely trail from writing at home to picking up your book in a store. And it’s a hard, stressed and often crazy journey to reach the end, but we all know it’s worth the pain.
Splendid Isolation: The Jekyll Island Millionaires’ Club, 1888-1942 is nearing the end of her gestation period and will soon be born. Like those before her, she will consume my energy and a huge part of my time for the next year or so. She will also be my most beloved for a short while. Her seven siblings understand, because they too, experienced all of this with me.
I want to share another passage of this book with you, hoping to animate my readers and give you something to look forward to.
Anyone approaching the island from the river is greeted by thousands of Spanish moss-draped ancient oak trees competing for space with the palmettos and magnolia trees. After the blinding light and heat of the coastal plain, it’s like waking up in another world. The circular turret of the imposing Club House, lit so that its cream brick glows against the dusk, is topped by a slip of a flag that ripples in the wind. Behind it, a picturesque windmill water tower rises before the dense pine forest. My eyes sweep over the dark brown shades of the monstrous old live oaks and their silvery curtains of moss. In the background I see some of the island’s seasonal mansions, referred to as “cottages” by their owners, and their perfect dark green velvet lawns. Colored men searching for oysters stand waist-high in the river as we draw near the dock. I even see two brilliant cardinals flying overhead!
We’ve arrived at this magical little island they call Jekyl – a most delightful spot, with a diversified beauty of trees and beaches. It is quite unlike any other place I’ve seen; a tiny paradise, I should think.
A fairy scene opens out in wide prospect beyond. The foreground, south, west and north is one mass of verdure wall, dotted with semi-tropical plants and flowers. On the Atlantic side, the island is blessed with miles of wide, gently sloping white beaches. The grey-blue Atlantic Ocean glitters under the high sun, as if sprinkled with diamond dust. The very hard packed sand invites the islanders to bicycle and ride horses and drive automobiles over them.
Stay cool, enjoy summer, and stay tuned for the September BLOG.