Sixteen year-old Anna Dugan is a super surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave. But surf culture bores Anna big time. While other surfers follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna harbors a secret desire to be an artist, drawing houses made of waves. It’s not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in Kendall’s Watch, a beach town where most kids are so surf-centric they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides.
Anna is not only the best surfer in Kendall’s, she’s also the shyest. When a surf scout comes to town to gage her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to let him watch her. To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna decides to only surf at her private break, Secretspot, for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a gorgeous stranger paddles out, smiling a bewitching smile and surfing like a god, their chemistry is impossible to ignore. A series of events are set in motion that will change Anna’s life forever; events that raise difficult questions about love, honesty, betrayal and family ties.
In the end, is it worth it? Dive in to Wavehouse, life-preserver recommended, and the decision is yours.
The inspiration for Wavehouse comes from the beach towns on the East End of Long Island and the people who live in those towns. Anyone who has spent time “out east” knows it has a very particular vibe and natural beauty. The cliffs, the Atlantic Ocean, the dunes, the special kind of light that has inspired visual artists and writers for centuries. And then there are the people, a combination of crusty old salts and surfers, weekend warriors and trend-setting city transplants. It’s such an odd combination of types all in close proximity. Suffice to say, the social dynamics are ripe for fictionalizing!
I was also inspired by the ocean, which I consider my home away from home. I often say I’m most at home when upside down and underwater.
I wanted to write about a local girl who, while part of her small, everybody knows everybody town, feels mostly like an outsider. My main character Anna Dugan, is exceptional in so many ways, but the only gift she’s ever been recognized for—her surf prowess—is not something she particularly wants attention for. Until my book, Wavehouse begins. A few chapters into the book and everything changes for Anna, in ways she never expected.
Lastly I was inspired to write a book about surfing, because I love to surf! Sharing the stoke, writing about waves in a way that is accessible and interesting to surfers and non-surfers alike was a particular goal for me. I hope I did a good job at this. I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out!
2 winners will receive a hardcover of WAVEHOUSE, US Only. Enter here.
As a young girl I longed to be a mermaid. My idol sat demurely on the Chicken of the Sea tuna fish cans. I peeled labels off to save her image. Every night before bedtime I squeezed both legs in to one side of my pajama bottoms and shuffled around the house pretending I was as beautiful as the tuna fish mermaid.
Real mermaid-hood proved elusive, so I became a modern dancer instead. For over twenty years I worked with brilliant choreographers and performed in amazing places. And while I’m still paid to do the occasional pirouette, I’m now mostly known as a Parenting Coach/Writer helping out moms and dads, and talking to kids also, about their (often annoying) parents.
But honestly? I’m most at home when upside down and underwater. I’ve been swimming my entire life, and surfing for the better part of adulthood. It’s no surprise my two novels are totally ocean-centric. Saving Grace is about a mermaid, and Wavehouse is about a surfer. And I guess they’re both about me, too.
These days I split my time between Brooklyn and Montauk, New York where I wear my pajamas regular style. But if too much time passes without a swim or a surf, I’m tempted to revisit my childhood shenanigans. Wouldn’t it be fun to flip-flop about like a fish out of water or a beached mermaid, restless and hungry for the incoming tide?