My journey of writing island mysteries began one April day, many years ago, as I waited to board the ferry to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, for the very first time. My son assured me, in a knowing voice, we would be back at that exact spot many more times. He felt what I felt: the wonder, the pull that only this special place offered us. We were captivated as a family. Through all of our vacations and adventures, we always left energized, restored, and whole again.
Daufuskie is its own magic. There is something immediately compelling about a place that can speak to you with its quiet, can inspire you with its beauty, can encourage you to dream by sharing its natural bounty, and can welcome you with possibility tucked into its mystery.
As one of the Atlantic coastal islands, Daufuskie has been marked by centuries of American history and was made famous by novelist Pat Conroy’s memoir The Water Is Wide in which he imagined the island in his unique way. From our family’s years of long beach walks on Daufuskie with our dogs, exploration, treasure hunts, and incredible family memories—Mongin Island was imagined and became the basis of my mystery series. After moving from Richmond, Virginia, to Atlanta, Georgia, my husband and both our children still enjoy time together on “our” island.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
I fell in love with the island on my first visit, purchased two pieces of property, and have been involved in a passion project to revitalize the island resort and other aspects of the community. I wanted to share my love of the island with readers and inspire them to follow their heart to tell the stories they feel need to be told.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
All Is Now Lost is an actual quote from the book. Two characters say this phrase at two different turning points in the story. Once I wrote it the first time, I knew that would be the title since it was such an impactful statement. Readers have been intrigued by the title and in conjunction with the book cover (which features someone walking, with her back to the reader), people have asked is that person walking away from what is lost & towards something new? These are great questions and have been fun to discuss with readers!
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
On my website (theislandmysteries.com), I have a link to a Spotify soundtrack for readers to enjoy. I selected these sounds to give people an “island mystery” vibe and the list includes some songs that have been part of our Mongin Island experience. Readers have enjoyed listening to these and we have played these songs at many in-person book events.
Describe your dream book cover.
The book cover for All Is Now Lost is based on a photograph my husband took many years ago. This specific spot was where I fell in love with the island and is hugely important to me. I often think about that moment and how impactful it has been to me and to our family. It was incredibly meaningful to me that the artist who design my cover used this photo and captured the mystery and magic of that spot. I love the cover and have received incredible feedback about it.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
Carr Jepson, the protagonist in All Is Now Lost, leaves her home and begins her life again on Mongin Island. The story is a mystery but there are also themes of finding your community, following your dreams, and leaning into opportunities. Carr didn’t go to Mongin Island to open a bookstore but the opportunity presented itself. She had the courage to take the leap! So for my readers, I hope I encourage them to follow their dreams—write the book, start the project, travel, learn a new language, do what is on their hearts—you never know where that will take you!
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