I’m so happy to announce that my second novel, tentatively titled The Bungalow, has just been sold to my terrific editor, Denise Roy, at Penguin (Plume). We had such a blast working together on The Violets of March (debuting on April 26th!), and I’m so thrilled to start the process anew again with a new book! Thank you to my dear agent, Elisabeth Weed, for her guidance and editorial eye!
We’re gearing up for a spring/summer 2012 release (that’s just a year after The Violets of March makes its way into the world! Have you pre-ordered your copy? I’d be so honored if you did!), and I’ll be sharing lots of exciting updates as we gear up to publication.
For now, I wanted to tell you a little about this new story, which I’m so very proud of (am I allowed to say that?!). After mulling some other second novel ideas, I was struck (literally, like a lightning bolt) with the idea for this book, which takes place partially in the South Pacific during World War II. The title, The Bungalow, came to me immediately, and I then imagined a story to go with it. Funny tidbit: I wrote the book in the period of a few months during the second trimester of my (current) pregnancy. I, oddly, get very creative in the second trimester! Anyone else experience this phenomenon?
So, more about the story: I’m no stranger to the South Pacific. After Jason and I honeymooned there in 2001–on the islands of Tahiti and Moorea–I fell in love with French Polynesia, its people, culture, scenery, food and feel. We stayed in a rickety old beach bungalow for part of our stay, and I never imagined that my time there as a new bride would inspire a novel that has absolutely captured my heart.
Those of you who know about Violets know of that the novel is partially set in 1943, and it’s true, I have a fascination with the 1940s. I’ve not only gone back to the 1940s for this story, but I’ve plucked a character from Violets into this new book. It’s not a sequel, but the stories link together in a way that will make readers of Violets smile (I hope) with familiarity.
For now, I’ll leave you with a short synopsis for this new novel–just to pique your interest a bit:
In the summer of 1942, Anne Calloway, then 21 years old, left her home in Seattle, and her sweet, but predictable fiancé to join her best friend Kitty on the adventure of their lives serving in the Army Nurse Corps on the island of Bora Bora in the South Pacific. During her year in service, Anne’s heart becomes captured by Westry, a mysterious soldier unlike any man she’s ever met. As their friendship grows, together they discover an abandoned beach bungalow not far from the base. The thatched-roof hideaway becomes their secret, a place where romance, and a deep love, blooms. But their private little world is forever rocked by a gruesome act of violence that they, alone, witness, and the burden it leaves them to carry. Before they can come to terms with the crime, Westry is deployed elsewhere, leaving Anne behind to wonder and wait. Years later, in 2005, Anne, now frail and in the final years of her life, receives a letter, postmarked from the Tahitian Islands, that forces her to relive the passion and the heartbreak of her past. Despite her ailing health, she and her granddaughter embark on a journey back to the island, and to the bungalow, where the story began. Armed with new clues–both about the murder and Westry–Anne is determined to find answers to the questions, and the love, that have haunted her for more than 60 years.