Topsail Island, After the Storm

North Topsail  I moffett, dick.jpg

 One of my readers, Donna Moffett, just sent me these pictures taken by her husband Dick. They show the northern end of Topsail Island after the last spate of storms. This is the string of houses I wrote about in Before the Storm — fictionalizing them of course. It’s so scary to see how quickly someone’s beautiful home can be destroyed.

Seeing these images, though, makes me miss the beach. I don’t plan on a beach setting for my next novel, although it will still be in North Carolina. Maybe closer to home in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area this time, but I’m not sure yet, since the story’s still taking shape. Perhaps the mountains? There are so many wonderful places in NC for a juicy story!  

North Topsail chairs.jpg





  1. Ann on October 14, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    Topsail Island has surely had some bad luck with storms through the years and that northern end is so vulnerable!
    We are at the Outer Banks this week and went to Kelly’s for dinner last night. We went there last
    February after reading your description of the sweet potato rolls/biscuits that you got there. Made a return visit and really had a good meal. They still serve those delightful rolls! Thanks for mentioning them in your blog.

  2. Margo on October 15, 2008 at 9:08 am

    When I miss the beach (which is most of the time) I pull out one of your novels that take place in the Outer Banks area and I’m refreshed. Diane, I have to tell you that your books almost always inspire me to paint something nautical after I read the last page…I can practically breathe the salty air and hear the ocean roar! (-:
    In BEFORE THE STORM I wanted to paint a round house like the SEA TENDER but had no idea where to start since I had no photos…so after I finished this book I went swimming instead which is another way for me to connect with the sea. (-:

  3. Denise on October 15, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I am sorry to say that, as an Illinois resident, I had never really heard of or thought much about Topsail Island or the Outer Banks. Now I would give anything to visit there, and that is all because of Diane!

  4. Margo on October 15, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I’ve always loved the sea but it was Diane’s KEEPER OF THE LIGHT that really introduced me to the Outer Banks…altho I do not live near the ocean our travels always take us there and like Denise, I yearn to visit Topsail Island and the Outer Banks…my earliest recollection of sand and water was when my parents started taking us to Clear Lake every summer at a very young age…I still have many of the seashells I collected as a child. (-:

  5. dianna on December 28, 2008 at 12:17 am

    When will After The Storm be published? I am eager to read it. Thanks.

  6. Diane Chamberlain on December 28, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Hi Dianna,
    It has a new title, SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND, and will be out in late May. Thanks for asking.

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