With the release date of Terms of Surrender closing in, I wanted to tell y'all a little bit about how this book came to be.
I started writing TERMS when I turned thirty-seven. I'd spent a week in Folly Beach, SC and one afternoon sightseeing in Charleston. Just one afternoon. Like a great love story, one afternoon was all it took to be swept up by this magical city. Now, don't get me wrong here... My love affair with the South was decades into no return, but standing under the Haint blue ceiling of a wide-planked porch solidified my monogamy.
When I was hired to ghostwrite The 51st State (U.S. Marshal thriller), I shelved TERMS, knowing I would return to the manuscript with a stronger prose.
Funny enough, that time came bearing gifts unimaginable. By then, I had moved to the Lowcounty, ninety minutes South of Charleston. SWOON! And, like Harlow Ausby, the main character in the story, I was approaching my 40th birthday. Completely full-circle.
What the story doesn't tell you is the real-life struggle I was dealt. My husband was gravely ill. We planned his funeral together, neither of us sure about anything. He was sick, and we didn't know why. I finished writing TERMS while in and out of hospitals and doctor offices, none of which gave us any answers, even to this day.
This story was a place of retreat for me. No matter what was happening in real-time, I knew that TERMS was waiting, patiently, ready to envelop me with spindly oak branches, under dripping Spanish moss, among the pluff-mud stench that I've come to love, and most importantly, with a story of an underdog that needed me to write her a champion's end.
I am every character, every sentence, every detail of this story. This book means the world to me, and I hope y'all root for Harlow as much as I have. She saved me, and I hope by putting her out into the world, I've done her justice.
Terms of Surrender goes live on June 19th.