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May 25, 2010


Posted by Dana

In today's guest post, author Wendy Wax shares her current distraction... the beach.   Ah the beach - no matter how much technology we invent - nothing tops a beach chair, a good book, some sun and the sounds of the ocean.  I'm with you Wendy!

abestseller.jpgA Day at the Beach

It’s not even Memorial Day and my brain has checked out and gone to the beach. I wish my body were with it.

The school year starts and ends early here in Atlanta, so my sons are already finished for the summer. (Did you hear that collective sigh of relief?) Our oldest just turned eighteen, graduated from high school and is now, at least legally, an adult. In a few short months he’ll be heading off to college in Connecticut. I know I should be crying, imagining him gone, following him around with a pathetic look on my face while trying to memorize his. But I’m thinking….beach.

It doesn’t get any better when I sit down to write, because the book I’m working on right now is set on the very tip of St. Pete Beach where I grew up, on a really cool barrier island called Pass-a-Grille. Every time I write a scene it makes me want to be there even more.

Actually, right now, it’s not just writing that produces this response. I can be doing the laundry, making dinner or running errands, and I’m thinking about how much I wish I were at the beach. I want to be walking on it, looking at it, or best of all stretching out on a blanket or chaise and reading a book on it. When it comes to white sand bordered by water, I am that swallow filing a flight plan to Capistrano.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve lived too far away from the beach for so many years or simply because it’s that time of year. Happily, I don’t need a reason.

I fell in love with the cover for THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER, which comes out today in mass market paperback, the moment I saw it. I especially love the picture it evokes: me on a stretch of white sandy beach with a great read in my hands.

I spend a considerable amount of time each day trying to paint pictures with words, but cover design is not one of my strengths. I know a good one when I see it, but imagining one based on what I’ve written? I’m very glad I’m not responsible for this!

Because THE ACCIDENTAL BESTSELLER is about four writer friends who help each other survive the publishing industry (a real insider’s look at what it is to be a writer today), I kept envisioning writing images; you know all those really scintillating cover visuals like fingers on a keyboard and a blank screen with an impatient cursor pulsing in the upper left hand corner.  Fortunately, the art department was far savvier; instead of the process, they focused on the end result—a great beach read. 

Since I wish I were on the beach right now, I’m running a contest for those of you lucky enough to actually get to one. Submit a picture of you reading The Accidental Bestseller on the beach—any beach-- to my web site and I’ll post it on my facebook fan page and enter you in a drawing for a beach bag full of some of my favorite books.

I NEED to get to the beach sometime soon. For now, I’m getting together all the essentials: an XL beach towel, sunscreen, small drinks cooler, favorite flip flops, beach hat, and a book I can’t put down. 

I won’t be taking a phone, music loud enough to block out the sound of waves washing onto the sand or the caw of seagulls. And I definitely won’t be taking any family member who can’t remain silent for reasonable periods of time. 

I’m curious about your beach reading essentials. I’d love to hear what you take with you to the beach and which one of them you simply can’t live without.

-- Wendy Wax, Author