Interview with the Hero and Heroine from Windswept Shores
Hello everyone. My name is Janice Seagraves. I’m the author of Windswept Shores.
I’ve always had a fascination with people stuck on a deserted island, using only their wits to survive.
As a child I was hooked on Gilligan’s island, later in Jr. High I read Robinson Caruso and wrote as part of my homework assignment, but I loved it. When I was older I watched the Survivor Shows, but only liked the ones where they were on an island. Then I saw the movie Castaway, and more recently the series Lost, but became lost.
So I had the idea of a couple struggling to survive on a deserted island, but it would also be a wonderful back drop for a romance.
But then I had to decide where the island was . . .
After countless google searches and looking at maps, I finally decided on the Bahamas. It’s another country but close to the U.S. just sixty miles off the Florida coast with it three hundred odd island and cays, with only eighty of which are inhabited, so I decided would be an easy place to get lost in.
With the wild weather they sometimes have there it, the island and the weather itself became almost a secondary character.
Actually the title of my book comes from my musing about the weather: they must have some awful windswept shores over there.
Windswept Shores? Hmm, I like that.
I already had the heroine, Megan’s personality down. I’m a California girl so she is one too, except she’s from Anaheim. I had her figured out before I even started writing. She’s forty-two, suffering from the after effects of a bad marriage and not ready to trust a new man. Even though she had been a housewife most of her married life, Megan had taken classes that helped her to figure out how to survive on the island.
The hero, Seth, was a little harder. I knew I wanted him to be almost a polar opposite to the heroine. But warm, caring and fun. What better than a handsome Aussie surfer? Once I got his accent down, his personality popped into existence.
“Say hello to the nice people, Megan and Seth,” I said, turning to my living room where Seth sat on my tan couch alongside Megan, who was working on something.
“G’day,” Seth says with a thick Aussie accent. He’s six foot, one. His arm and chest muscles strain against his Hawaiian shirt as he shifts position on the seat cushions.
As Megan looks up, light bounces off her bright red hair. “Oh, have we started already?”
“Yes we have. What are you making there?” I point to the wicker held tightly in her hands, as she carefully weaves a reed through.
“I’m making you a basket.”
“Yes, I noticed you have quite a collection on your coffee table. I thought I’d make you something to hold it all.” Megan’s sea green eyes are bright with amusement.
I glanced at my messy coffee table with its assorted junk, feeling my cheeks heat. “Yeah, maybe I should have cleaned up a bit more before I had you two come over.”
“Aw Jan, don’t mind Megz. She would have made ya a basket anyway. She’s just got to keep her hands busy.”
“True,” Megan admitted, pulling another loop through.
“Oh, um, thank you.” I glance at Megan then back to Seth. “So tell us how you both ended up on the island.”
“I reckon Megz, should go first.” Seth nodded toward the woman next to him. “She got there before I did, after all.”
Megan looks up from her basketry. “Well, where shall I start?”
“At the beginning?” I suggested.
“No.” She chuckled. “That would take too long.” Megan looks off for a moment her gaze haunted. “The plane I and my husband were on had flown into a storm. Saint Elmo’s fire danced along the plane’s wings and set the motors on fire. The plane went down. We crashed into the ocean.” Glancing at the unfinished basket in her hand, she paused a moment, blinking rapidly. “I’m the only one who made it out.”
“Then what happened?” I asked gently.
“I spent three days and two nights on a raft going up then down like a giant elevator.” She sighed. “Long-long days and nights passed with no food and barely any drinking water, except what I could capture in a mouthwash bottle in the bottom of the boat from the rain. Finally I drifted ashore on a little island. I used the raft at night like a bed and then for shelter when it rained. One day I woke up and it was flat. But by then I had started picking up the luggage that came in on the surf, finding things to make my life more tolerable. I also took on the heartrending job of burying my fellow passenger when they washed up from the plane wreck.”
She smiled at the man beside her. “That’s where I first meet Seth. I thought he was another dead body, until he coughed and rolled over.”
Seth chuckled. “Her scream woke me up.”
I glanced at Seth. “How did you get there?”
Seth leaned forward, elbows on knees, his dove gray eyes clouding over. “Oy, me mate Bill and I were on his boat, the Dinki-Di, during a big squall that’s when she hit a reef. I got thrown overboard and had to tread water until dawn. When I could see, I lit out fer shore.”
“It was a big storm,” Megan added. “A lot of stuff got washed on the beach next day.”
Seth hooked a thumb pointing at his big chest. “Including yours truly.”
“He’s lucky he passed out after he got to the beach. Any sooner and well . . .” she trailed off with a shrug.
Seth’s glance went to hers. “When I first lit eyes on Megz, I knew I wanted her.”
Megan ducks her head, but I could see a smile.
“Maybe now would be a good time to tell about your book?” I suggested.
“Orright.” Seth grinned until his cheeks dimpled. “This time of the year most folks want to go on holiday, so they can have a bit of fun in the sun.”
Megan added, “Unfortunately that’s what Megan thought too.”
Blurb: The sole survivor of a plane crash, Megan is alone on a deserted island in the Bahamas until she finds a nearly-drowned man washed up on shore. Another survivor, this time from a boat wreck. With only meager survival skills between them, will they survive and can they find love?
Breathing hard, she flicked a glance at the teal-colored sea. She'd thought a vacation to the Bahamas would be the perfect getaway, would be a solution to the problems she and Jonathan had faced. She'd been wrong—dead wrong. Tears of grief filled her eyes. The never-ending crash of the waves on the beach and the cries of the seagulls seemed to mock her with the reminder she was utterly alone.
She'd felt like a tiny speck of sand last night when a violent storm had swept across the island. It had made a mess of her meager campsite, which had taken all morning to fix, and had demolished her seaweed SOS sign. She'll have to recreate her SOS. Sighing, Megan trudged toward a pile of kelp. As she got closer, she saw a figure wearing blue jeans and a t-shirt. Her stomach lurched.
Oh, God, it’s another body washed up from the plane wreck. That would be number twelve. As always, she couldn't help but wonder if the next one would be Jonathan. He hadn’t been wearing jeans on the plane, so she knew she’d been spared seeing his corpse this time. Thank God. She approached the body with dread. Tightening her resolve, she knelt. Suddenly the "dead body" coughed and rolled over. With a scream, Megan jumped back. She clutched her chest and pressed a shaking hand to her mouth.
Biting her lip, she stared down at the still-breathing man. His drenched t-shirt molded against his broad shoulders and well developed upper body. Short, golden brown hair stuck out in all directions.
Megan, get control of yourself. Don’t wet your pants the first time you finally see a living person. She got on her knees, plucked the seaweed from him and wiped the sand from his face. His day-old whiskers scratched her palm. Reddened skin stretched across both cheekbones and over the bridge of his nose. Her thumb caressed his parched full bottom lip.
She patted the side of his face. “Hey, are you okay?” That’s a dumb question.
He isn’t okay.
“Hmm?” Gray eyes fluttered open. He stared at her a long moment, frowning slightly. “G’day.”
“Hello there.” She hated the sound of her voice. It sounded rusty, unused.
Abruptly he rolled away from her to heave onto the sand, making a loud, ugly retching noise.
He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, then looked at her. “Sorry, mate, I swallowed too much sea.” His gaze went over her shoulder in the direction of the bonfire which crackled and popped not far from them. “Mite big for a barbie.”
Sitting back on her heels with her hands folded in her lap, Megan followed his gaze, then back to him. “My signal fire.”
“Signal for what?”
His accent intrigued her. Was he English or Australian?
“G’darn,” he looked around, “where the bloody hell am I?”
“Don’t know. There’s no one here to ask.” Megan shrugged helplessly, but couldn’t contain her curiosity. “Are you from England?”
“Naw,” he rubbed his eyes, “I hail from Sydney, but my port of call these days is Fort Lauderdale.” He blinked up at her. “You?”
Ah, he’s an Aussie. “I’m Megan Lorry, from Anaheim, California,” she said, barely loud enough to be heard above the sounds of the surf and the roar from the fire. “Are you a survivor of Air Bahamas flight 227, too?”
Janice Seagraves' website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice Seagraves' main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/
Windswept Shores at Pink Petal Books: http://pinkpetalbooks.com/Windswept-Shores-Janice-Seagraves.html
Or Find Windswept Shores for the kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Windswept-Shores-ebook/dp/B003URROMW