Today I welcome former Inspy Romance blogger Heidi Mccahan to share about her setting for Sweet Melody: A Seabrook Romance! Tell us about Seabrook! I’m always up for a great coastal setting!
Hello, Inspy Romance fans. It’s been awhile. Thank you for inviting me back.
Let’s talk about settings, shall we? As authors, we try to strike a balance between settings we’ve invented in our imaginations and real settings that appeal to romance readers. Based on my own unofficial market research, small towns continue to be quite popular among inspirational romance fans. There’s something relatable about a small-town setting, the sense of belonging the reader feels when the story is established in a tight-knit community, as well as the eclectic cast of characters who often help heroes and heroines conquer their obstacles and claim that happily ever after.
While I’m a fan of urban and small-town settings, a coastal setting gets my attention every time. Real or fictitious, if an author’s work features the coast, I’m already hooked.
In 2009, my family’s first trip to Seabrook on the coast of Washington State filled me with an indescribable sense of wonder and awe. Our friends kept talking about this new place to vacation at the beach, with adorable cottages to rent and bikes to ride and S’mores at the community fire pit every night. My sister had four kids and I had two at the time, plus our parents and husbands, so we rented a cottage and planned an adventure.
If you’re from the Pacific Northwest or you’ve visited, then you probably already know there’s a fair amount of annual rainfall. Seabrook is not far from the Hoh Rain Forest, which is part of Olympic National Park. Seabrook is situated on a huge bluff overlooking the Pacific, with a stunning view of the rugged windswept coastline that I personally can’t get enough of. This isn’t the kind of vacation where you lie still and work on your tan. In fact, you’ll more than likely want a sweatshirt to wear with your shorts and T-shirt. When there are six children involved, nobody sticks with one activity for long, anyway. My youngest is 9 and my sister’s oldest is almost 22, so the activities and interests have changed, but our love for Seabrook hasn’t. We’re going back very soon, and I can’t wait to celebrate the release of Sweet Melody in the place that inspired the story.
For me, Seabrook evokes a sense of belonging in a picturesque community, being immersed in nature, standing on the edge of the world and acknowledging just how awesome and incredible our Sovereign God truly is. He made the massive cliffs and designed the oceans and the tides, and He knows the ages of all the trees in the forest. And yet He cares about us and loves us too.
Sweet Melody is a fun, romantic summer read with a deeper message about God’s love for us. It took me a long time to learn that when God looks at us, He doesn’t see failure … no matter how many mistakes we’ve made. He loves us as we are, and yet He wants us to grow and mature in our relationship with Him and He also wants us to love others so people will want to know more about Him. While I could’ve written this book in a completely fictitious setting, creating the story felt more meaningful for me and the final result is richer because I poured my love and appreciation for this community onto the pages of this story.
Heidi secretly dreamed of writing a book for most of her childhood, but a particularly painful rejection letter in middle school convinced her to tuck that dream away. Instead, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After a brief career as a Certified Athletic Trainer, Heidi married her husband Steve, then she dusted off her big dream of becoming a published author and launched her first contemporary romance into the world in 2014. A huge fan of coffee, dark chocolate, and happily ever after, Heidi currently lives in North Carolina with Steve, three active boys and one amazing Goldendoodle.
GET YOUR COPY! AMAZON
Your turn: do you like to read books with fictitious settings, or do you prefer to experience real settings through the pages of a novel? Share your thoughts in the comments by 8-4-19 and one person will be randomly selected to receive an eBook copy of Sweet Melody. (Void where prohibited.)