#YourNextBeachRead is a way to introduce you to a new author and their works in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.
Today’s featured author is Kerry Evelyn, author of Love On The Beach.
What’s your name and where are you from?
Hey, there! Kerry Evelyn here! I grew up on the South Coast of Massachusetts and moved to Orlando in 2002.
How long have you been writing? How did you start?
Forever! Seriously. I wrote a letter to my Nana in Heaven when I was 3. She taught me how to play cards. All through childhood, I created worlds and collected words, sentences, and ideas. IN high school, I published a children’s book (plastic spiral-bound masterpiece – who remembers those things?) and wrote for the school paper.
Who are some of your influences?
Too many to list! But I have to mention Mariah Stewart, because all her books and stories connect to others. I’ve done that as well, simply because I love it was a reader – finding little updates on past favorite characters when you least expect it – it brings the happy giggles!
What is your book about?
Love On The Beach is a story about two people who each thought they had their life planned out – and then curve balls flipped their worlds. Sometimes, what’s in store for us is better than anything we could plan for ourselves.
After quitting her job at a high-profile magazine in Boston, idealistic journalist Shelby Porter retreats to her hometown of Crane’s Cove, Maine, to regroup and refocus. As the pastor’s daughter, she’s welcomed back with open arms and opportunities to serve. However, the solace and support from the townspeople isn’t enough to soften painful memories or bring her closer to her goals. Shelby’s plans run up against another obstacle when the new guy in town walks into her life. Despite their connection, she resolves to not let love get in the way of fulfilling her purpose.
Tragedy drives Detective Damon Saunders from his job in Atlanta to the tiny resort town. Wanting to escape the ugliness of the big city, he now patrols the peaceful streets of the seaside community. The hardest part of his new role is earning the trust of the locals—especially Shelby. He’s drawn to her quiet strength and desire to help people, but she has plans that’ll take her far away from the place where he’s trying to plant new roots. Maybe falling for her will complicate his life, but he’s willing to take that chance.
Shelby denies her growing feelings for Damon, but when her four-year-old nephew is in danger, he’s the only one who can help. Can Damon overcome the shadows of his past to save a child and win her—and the town’s—heart?
Where did you get the idea?
I knew I didn’t want to be a journalist after my very first Communications class in college. I don’t have the heart for it, so I became an elementary school teacher and a romance author!
The book is inspired by many different events I or someone close to me experienced. Bullying, domestic abuse, child trafficking, trauma, regrets, relinquishing control – they all add up to happy ending for my characters, but it takes a lot for them to get to that point. The kidnapping scene was inspired by an actual abduction attempt at a playground we go to often. The world is a scary place!
How long did it take you to finish it?
I wrote the first chapter a year ago, so I could include it at the end of the second Crane’s Cove book, Love On The Rocks. I planned it out for a few months while I was working on other projects, and picked it back up last November 1st, for NaNoWriMo. I finished the first draft mid-January and then it was months of revising, editing, and polishing. So, a year, but the bulk was written in about 12 weeks.
Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?
This is my third novel and it’s preceded by Love On The Edge and Love On The Rocks.
We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?
There are several friends and family members who inspired some of the secondary characters, but I’m not telling who – I don’t want to ruin the surprise! But if you know me personally, you may recognize mutual friends in Tonya Sadler, Tracy Walker, Pastor Grant Porter, Roxanne Hathaway, Paula Patrick, Becca Parker, Taylor Veal, and Ellie Perez. Also, Fenway, Goldie, and Buster were all inspired by real family pets. ❤
What’s your favorite scene in the book?
My favorite scene is when Shelby has herself a good cry unpacking all her old journals from the summer her mother died. It’s summer, so her window is open, and Damon hears her while he’s walking by with Fenway. He hears her crying and decides to see if she’s okay. She’s not – and what follows is raw, beautiful, and a big moment for them. You might cry, you’ll definitely sigh, and then you my exclaim, “Oh my!” Haha!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?
Think of yourself as an author, and you’ll be one. Have that mindset, and you’ll live it. If you tell yourself you’re a professional author, schedule times to write, and stay plugged in to a community, you’re less likely to let Imposter Syndrome get you down for too long when it hits – and it will. Your family, friends – often the people you expect will support you the most won’t take you seriously, and that is crushing. Eventually, they’ll see you taking yourself seriously, and they’ll come around. But remember, it’s not about them, or what they think. It’s what YOU think – if you don’t see yourself as an author, why would anyone else?
What’s the worst?
Being told I have to write every day. It’s a great habit, but I’ve wasted so much time writing and deleting junk just to get words on the page. I schedule time for writing, but if I’m not feeling it, I’ll spend the researching, creating social media posts or blogs, or even inputting receipts and expenses.
Where can we buy your book?
Love on the Beach releases Tuesday, July 30th! You can pre-order it now at Amazon
Kerry Evelyn is an author, educator, mentor, and presenter. A native of the Massachusetts SouthCoast, she changed her latitude and is now calls the Orlando area home. Kerry loves God, books of all kinds, traveling, taking selfies, sweet drinks, and escaping into her imagination, where every child is happy and healthy, every house has a library, and her hubby wears coattails and a top hat 24/7.
She is the author of the Crane’s Cove series, sweet inspiring romance set in Coastal Maine, several paranormal short stories, and is a judge for the Florida Writers Association’s Royal Palm Literary Awards.. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram @KerryEvelynAuthor, and Twitter @theKerryEvelyn. Visit KerryEvelyn.com to subscribe to her newsletter and learn more!