Okay, I confess. I’m a beach-nut. (Not a beech-nut, mind you . . . 😉 My family has vacationed at the beach nearly every year of my life, and it’s done something to me. Gotten the ocean into my soul.

Every year since I was 10, we’ve gone to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. (Anybody not know where they are? It’s the home of Kitty Hawk, where the Wright Brothers flew the airplane, and where most of Nicholas Sparks’s books are set. A barrier island chain off the coast.) It’s relatively quiet, gorgeous, and has that certain something that speaks to me.

Right after I graduated from college, I had this idea for a book set in the Outer Banks. (Probably inspired by the two weeks we’d just sent there in celebration of graduating.) It kept me up all night–seriously. I think I slept three hours that night. I rose in the morning when David did at 5 (he was, at the time, traveling to Baltimore for work every day) and got out my laptop.

That day, I wrote 50 pages. As I did the day after that. And the day after that. 150 pages in 3 days! Then the next 150 pages in, well, three months. LOL. When I first envisioned the story, I wanted it to be simple. Love triangle, long-lost love, that sort of thing. But as I wrote, it got complicated. (This always happens to me . . .) The characters I’d intended to be antagonistic were nice. Lovable, even. Which means my heroine and hero couldn’t be antagonized by them. They had to work through a far more difficult issue and deal with them while liking them.

This is coming up here because my critique partners are currently reading this story and have called it my best–which means I may want to pitch it at conference. I’d originally titled it Unrequested, Unrequited. Too much, right? So I changed it to Blue Skies in the Morning. Not exactly brilliant, either. So. I’m searching for a new title before I pitch it.

So let’s have my first blog contest! Recommend a title sometime this week. Vote for someone else’s. The most popular/my favorite will be the winner, and the person to recommend it will win . . . books. See the following post for details!

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