by Valerie Massey Goree, Contributing Writer
To read or not to read? That is the question. In this digital age, we have so many choices: E-books or paperbacks? Visiting brick-and-mortar stores or ordering online? How about meeting the author in person at a book signing event? Yes, I know, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we haven’t been able to participate in those activities for a long time.
Scenic Haven for Writing Pair
My husband and I are two of the many authors who live in the Port Ludlow area. We retired here almost three years ago. We wanted to get away from the heat and humidity of Texas and settle in a place with a view, where we could write.
Glenn is the author of 11 non-fiction books. Most of his are based on his 40-plus years of mental health counseling and his volunteering in the Rhodesian Army back in the 1970s. I have had five romantic suspense novels published and a sixth will be released in July. Mine are based on my imagination. I love writing suspense because when the plot sinks, I can always bump off a character.
Cancer Journey Inspires Book by Husband
Our happy-go-lucky retirement plans rocked along for six months, then Glenn was diagnosed with cancer. The past two years for him have been filled with doctor appointments, hospital stays, and days of extreme fatigue; for me, long hours in waiting rooms, drives to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle, and anxious nights, but we have both found time to write.
Glenn’s latest book discusses his cancer journey. So, You Have Cancer. Now What? The title pretty much tells you what the book is about, but it is more than a journal. Glenn deals with the hard topics for sure, but he also examines how a person can mentally and emotionally prepare for the end. Although he has had numerous treatments, his cancer is terminal. We are living each day to the fullest and try to stay positive. This book is available from Amazon. For his other books, see his web site: glenngoree.com.
Australia Ties Inspire Book by Wife
On a happier note, my latest book, Forever Under Blue Skies, is set in Australia. Have you ever fallen in love with a country or place you’ve never visited? I have. When my mother told me her mother was born in Australia, my love for a country that already intrigued me grew immeasurably. My childish fascination with kangaroos and koalas developed into more serious aspects of life. How long had my grandmother’s family lived there? Why did they immigrate to South Africa? So many questions that I didn’t ask at the time. No one in the extended family seemed interested in genealogical research, and my grandmother passed away before I was born.
Many years later, before the days of Ancestry.com, I wrote to the genealogical society in Melbourne, and over time received more information than I could have hoped for. The passenger manifest of a boat that sailed from England to Australia in 1863 indicated my great-grandfather was born during the voyage. The large family settled in and around Bendigo, Victoria, many working in the gold mines or in the wool industry. My great-grandparents and several siblings left Australia in 1902 for South Africa when the gold and diamond mines were being developed there. My grandmother was 11 at the time. That’s how she ended up in South Africa.
How the Novel Took Shape
Glenn and I did visit Australia, and I met many relatives. I combined the information gathered during our trip with my previous research, and finally wrote my novel. Neither my grandmother nor any of her nieces or nephews lived on a sheep station, but that’s where the fiction part comes in. What was life like on a sheep station in 1983? You can read Forever Under Blue Skies to find out.
As the back cover blurb says, “Travel to Australia to solve a family mystery? Sure, Marlow could do that. But she didn’t take into consideration the vast outback, nor the owner of the sheep station. Widower Jake Barclay is everything her late husband was not—honorable, considerate, a pure gentleman. She came prepared with sunscreen, but hadn’t built a high enough screen around her heart.”
Forever Under Blue Skies is available from Amazon. Check out my web site valeriegoreeauthor.com for my other novels set in Texas or California. I am writing one now set in Jefferson County.