Kiss River is the middle book of the Keeper of the Light trilogy and I’m happy that my publisher is giving the whole trilogy a second life by re-releasing the books one by one. The first book, Keeper of the Light, came out in April. Kiss River was published today. And the final book, Her Mother’s Shadow, will be out in 2012, although I’m not yet sure of the date. There are ways you may be able to read the whole trilogy now, though. But first, let me tell you a few things about the books.
They were Never Meant to be a Trilogy
Keeper of the Light was my fourth novel, written nearly two decades ago, is set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. With a Gothic sort of intrigue, a romantic triangle, an elderly lighthouse keeper and a beautiful dead woman who pretty much runs the show, it quickly became the most popular of my books. Readers pleaded with me to continue the tale of the O’Neill family, but I was deep into writing other books. When I left Keeper’s publisher, the book was allowed to go out of print. I wanted my readers to continue to have access to it, so I suggested to my new publisher that if they would reissue it, I would write two more books to turn the story into a trilogy. My publisher agreed and that’s how Kiss River and Her Mother’s Shadow were born. This was around 2005.
Those books were written twelve years after Keeper of the Light, so I decided to write them in real time, aging all the characters twelve years. What fun that was! It’s not often an author gets to see how her characters turn out. In the case of Kiss River, they didn’t turn out too well! Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had much of a story.
Here’s the original cover for the hardcover edition of Kiss River.
For Haseena and the Other Waiting Children
That’s the dedication in Kiss River, and I’ve often been asked who Haseena is. Well, she’s part of the inspiration for the story of Kiss River. One of my writing friends was in the midst of adopting a little girl from India when her adoption was targeted by Indian activists against international adoptions. My friend moved to India for eighteen months to fight for her daughter, Haseena. I was so inspired by her passion that I created Gina, a young woman on her own difficult journey to adopt an Indian child. When I wrote the book, I was optimistic my friend would succeed in her efforts, but that was not the case. This friend is writing her own book about her experience, and I hope one day soon you’ll get to learn more about her real-life struggle.
The Moto Sato Problem
Every once in a while, for a cause close to my heart, I’ll auction off a character name. Whoever wins must agree to allow his or her name to be used for good or evil. I had already written most of Kiss River when I decided to add a character name to the offerings at my church’s annual auction. I figured I could simply use the name for one of the many walk-on characters during the World War II portion of the story. No biggie. Until the winner was announced: Moto Sato. Oh no. How was I going to put a Japanese man in North Carolina’s Outer Banks during World War II? I stewed about it for days, but a solution began coming to me, and along with the solution, a subplot that turned out to be critical to the story. I love how things like that happen in writing! I’ll always be grateful that Moto won that auction.
The Paperback Cover, Back Then
Here’s the paperback cover for Kiss River. All I can say is that covers have come a long way!
You Want to Read the Whole Trilogy Now?
So, Keeper of the Light is available in both print and ebook format. Kiss River is available in print and will be available in ebook format December 1st. But, sneakily, you may be able to find the ebook format for it connected to the “old” edition, which is really the same as the new (complicated, I know). And you don’t want to wait for Her Mother’s Shadow to be re-released? You have a few options. Ebay. Your local library, which may be able to track down a copy for you through interlibrary loan. And again, you may be able to find the ebook connected to the original release. If all that is too complicated for you, feel free to ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer.
United Kingdom and Australian Readers
Hang in there! Keeper of the Light will be published in January and I hope the other two books won’t be long behind. I am not sure of the Australian dates, but they are usually around the same time as the UK.
Happy Reading, everyone!