Tales from Sea Glass Inn, my tenth novel, was released this month. I journeyed back in time with this one—back to the setting of my third book, back to memories of Cannon Beach, and back to the time I spent working at the ocean after an oil spill. I was accompanied by Pam and Mel, as well as eight of their friends, neighbors, and guests. As if the tour bus wasn’t full enough on the trip, I also had another element in the forefront of my mind as I traveled through these novellas—the ocean itself.
I often feel that my settings are characters as much as they are places, and this is most true when I’m writing about the sea. For many of us, the ocean seems to speak to something deep and primal. The throbbing beat of the waves, the taste of salt on our lips, the shifting sand under our feet. We connect to nature and the timelessness of tides and the vastness of the world in a way we can’t in any other place. I’m sure there are as many reasons for the ocean’s effects as there are people who experience them, but for my novellas I came up with four key ideas. Being near the ocean heals us. It provokes creativity. Its beauty causes passion to flare inside us. And the concentration of life along a narrow strip of shore, singing to the constant beat of waves and tides, turns communities into families.
Like the beach, the women in this book are nurturers, healers, creators, and lovers, but their hearts carry the sludge of old wounds. As they scrub the oil off the birds and beaches, they find themselves washing away their own pain until their hearts are clean enough to love again.
I love walking along cool mountain trails next to trickling streams. I am awed by the scorched and prickly beauty of Texas. I am far from the ocean now, but I felt close to it while I wrote these tales. I hope my readers are able to hear the cry of gulls and smell the tangled seaweed and feel the ocean in all its healing power on this second visit to the Sea Glass Inn.