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Thursday, September 10, 2015


Bodie Island Lighthouse, Nags Head, North Carolina
Eva Gates is the national bestselling author of the Lighthouse Library cozy series, set in an historic lighthouse on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and featuring Boston-transplant librarian and highly reluctant sleuth Lucy Richardson. Eva is the pen name of Vicki Delany, one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers.  Learn more about Eva and Vicki at their respective websites.

Discovering Lighthouses
I live in the middle of the continent.  I always have.  Even when I lived in Africa for eleven years, I was hundreds of kilometers from any coast.

I don’t remember ever going to the ocean on vacation when I was a kid. We usually went camping to places like Algonquin Provincial Park or rented a cottage on one of Ontario’s many lakes. I love to swim in calm, cool lakes, but I don’t like the rough ocean. 
In short, I’ve never spent much time by the sea.

When I was asked to write the Lighthouse Library cozy series, it opened a whole new world of experience for me. In the books, the library of the series title is situated in the real (but library-less) Bodie Island Lighthouse, near Nags Head, North Carolina.  I travelled down to the Outer Banks to check it out and learned as much as I could about the area, as well as living and working along the coast.
Inside the lighthouse, looking up.  Way up.

I also learned all about North Carolina foods such as shrimp and grits, hush puppies, po’boys, but that’s a topic for another day. Hey, being a writer’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

I visited the Bodie Island Lighthouse itself and climbed the 214 steps to the top, as well as the Currituck Light in Corolla, which I also climbed, and the Cape Hatteras lighthouse. 

Lighthouses I learned, are marvellous things. These days, lighthouses don’t have an important practical function, but they can be admired for their beauty, their history, and what they represent.

I recently came across a quote by Barbara W. Tuchman comparing books to lighthouses.

“They are engines of change (as the poet said), windows on the world and lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” Library of Congress speech (17 October 1979)

Since visiting these iconic lighthouses and learning more about them, I’ve begun a series on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/evagatesauthor) called Lighthouse Tuesday. I feature a special, interesting, or historic lighthouse every week.

Now, where was I?  Oh, yes, eating shrimp and grits.

Booked for Trouble
Lucy has finally found her bliss as a librarian and resident of the Bodie Island Lighthouse. She loves walking on the beach, passing her evenings with the local book club, bonding with the library cat, Charles, and enjoying the attention of not one, but TWO eligible men. But then her socialite mother, Suzanne, unexpectedly drops in, determined to move Lucy back to Boston—and reunite her with her ex-fiancĂ©.

To make matters worse, Suzanne picks a very public fight at the local hotel with her former classmate Karen Kivas. So, when Karen turns up dead outside the library the next morning, Suzanne is immediately at the top of the suspect list. Now Lucy must hunt down a dangerous killer—before the authorities throw the book at her poor mother…

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M. Johnston said...

Very nice piece and an interesting premise on the stories. I wish you great success.

Marilyn (aka cj petterson)

Angela Adams said...

Enjoyed your post, Eva. I've vacationed in that NC area. It's lovely.

Vicki Delany said...

Thanks for your comments. The Outer Banks are marvellous. Vicki/Eva

Anne Louise Bannon said...

Looks like a fun series. I'll have to check it ou.