Marcus's Operation Bumblebee Tower

op bumblebee.jpg

If you’ve read Before the Storm or Secrets She Left Behind, you know that my character, Marcus, lives in an unusual house.

After World War II, the US Navy ran a secret program called Operation Bumblebee  on Topsail Island (where I just happen to be for the weekend). The program was designed to develop and test supersonic guided missles. The Navy built eight concrete towers, which were used to track and study the missiles. These towers still stand, a few of them incredibly ugly and plain, but several of them have been transformed into beautiful homes. It so happens that the friend’s cottage John and I are staying in is right across the street from one of these homes. I thought you might like to see an example of what Marcus’s house might look like, although his is not this gorgeous tomato red. Actually, in my imagination, Marcus’s house is a bit funkier than this and has a partially flat roof and a metal ladder climbing up its side (all necessary for my story!), but you get the idea.

We’re packing up to leave for home. This has been a very quick and lovely trip to the beach, but now it’s time to return to reality.



  1. Denise on June 7, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Wow, what a gorgeous place! I never envisioned it that way!

  2. Anna Adams on June 8, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Thank you so much for this! Some writer friends and I did our annual retreat on North Topsail last Nov., and every day when we walked on the beach, we passed this big, old plain cement tower-looking thing, and we couldn’t figure out what it had been. I’m forwarding them a link to your blog post right now.
    So glad Secrets is out!

  3. Margo on June 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

    This is just how I pictured where Marcus lives…Diane, your descriptions are perfect!

  4. ronnie on June 8, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Diane I received the personalized book plate today and I want to thank you and know I will treasure it forever.
    I loved Secrets She Left Behind and I just finished Cypress Point. There was a reference to a song in Cypress Point and now I have to ask if you were/are a Phil Ochs fan?

  5. Gina on June 8, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Love that picture. It looks so peaceful.

  6. Diane Chamberlain on June 8, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    Ronnie, I was a Phil Ochs fan back in the day, but I don’t remember the song you’re referring to. Remind me, please?

  7. ronnie on June 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    There But For Fortune…….I believe Joan Baez also recorded it but words and lyrics by Phil Ochs.

  8. Diane Chamberlain on June 8, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Ah, yes, Ronnie. I can hear both of them singing it in my head (it’s crowded in there!). But danged if I can remember mentioning it in Cypress Point. I truly wish I could remember my own books. . .

  9. ronnie on June 9, 2009 at 7:31 am

    I think it is wonderful that you can’t remember your own books. This way when you read them you can get as much enjoyment from them as we do.
    May I ask what book of yours you are rereading for reissue?
    By the way when I mentioned to my husband that there was a reference to a Phil Ochs song in your book he said “well she has gone up a notch in my book”. Of course he has no book, but now you can sleep well at night knowing that you made my husband’s day.

  10. Margo on June 9, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Diane, I received my personalized book plate last nite and THANK YOU SO MUCH!!…it is now in my copy of SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND which I am absolutely loving and can’t put down!! (-O:

  11. Diane Chamberlain on June 9, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Margo, I’m happy you’re enjoying SSLB!
    Ronnie, I love bit that about your husband. I am an old folkie from way back. I just read the part in THE HELP where Skeeter hears Dylan on the radio for the first time and she’s move by it.
    The book I’m reading for reissue is SUMMER’S CHILD, which will be out in April next year (BREAKING THE SILENCE will be reissued this December). I’ve actually put down SUMMER’S CHILD for a bit because I need to focus on the book I’m writing. I was away for the weekend and I lose steam on my work-in-progress when that happens, so now I need find some new steam!

  12. brenda on June 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Breaking the Silence and SUMMER’S CHILD-both of them-fantastic…
    Catch us up on WIP…

  13. Margo on June 9, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Fantastic!…SUMMER’S CHILD and BREAKING THE SILENCE will be reissues!…everyone, if you’ve never read these 2, be sure and get them when they’re released…they are WONDERFUL!!…I definitely plan on rereading them.
    Diane, I’m carrying SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND with me everywhere…I just can’t put it down…oooooh, how I love the way you write…(-O:

  14. Denise on June 9, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Summer’s Child and Breaking the Silence are definitely two of my faves!

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