Welcome to the blog tour for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler! Today, I have a very visual post for you all - and an awesome giveaway! Read on, gentle readers!
The Road Trip in The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
When the idea for The Summer of Chasing Mermaids came together in the fall of 2013, I knew that I wanted to set the story somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. But I'd never visited coastal Washington or Oregon! My only visit to Washington was an all-too-brief book tour stop in Seattle the previous summer, and I'd only been to Oregon for a work event in Portland more than a fifteen years ago. Without an authentic feel for the setting of my book, I felt like I couldn't finish the story.
Obviously, there was only one thing to do... RESEARCH ROAD TRIP!
My (thankfully) adventurous husband and I packed up our car with road trip essentials like a tent, hiking boots, plenty of white cheddar popcorn, and some bottled water, and hit the road from Colorado, driving northwest until we reached Washington. From there, we made our way south along the coasts of Washington and Oregon, visiting towns and natural sites that inspired the fictional town of Atargatis Cove, Oregon, where the novel is set.
My Favorite Stops
The Goondocks and Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. Fellow 80s kids will recognize this! And it totally made me want to write a story about pirates. For now, though, the only pirates in the book are the sailors who race in the Pirate Regatta. The 3rd picture features some of the houses that inspired the houses at Atargatis Cove.
Forks and LaPush, of Twilight fame. What kind of YA author would miss out on these places? LaPush is stunning, by the way.
Point Hudson Marina in Port Townsend, which helped me envision Chelsea Marina.
Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park, which inspired a hike in the story. That little orange dot at the bottom is me hugging a giant tree!
Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua, a favorite spot for Elyse’s Aunt Lemon. I don’t know who that crazy person is down there, but that one is *not* me!
Bandon-by-the-Sea, including lunch at The Chowder House, where Christian buys Elyse her first fish-n-chips.
Crater Lake National Park, which is just a stunning place to visit. The lake is even bluer than the sky, and the water is so pure that scientists use it to measure baseline purity for drinking water.
Road Trip, Part 2
After a few weeks on the road, we finally returned home to Colorado (totally landlocked), where I got to work on writing the novel, totally inspired by everything we’d researched. But we missed the sea! So, less than two months after I finished The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, we took another road trip—this time, to move. Without much of a plan, we packed up our belongings and headed northwest, hoping for the best! We settled into a small seaport town in Washington, ready for a new adventure. Many of the people we'd met in restaurants and shops on our fall trip remembered us, so it really did feel like coming home!
I love research road trips. I have to think about where I’d like to set my next book. Maybe Alaska—haven’t been there yet! :)
About the Author:
Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of young adult novels, including #scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Fixing Delilah, and the critically acclaimed Twenty Boy Summer, a YALSA Teens' Top Ten nominee and IndieNext List pick. Her latest, The Summer of Chasing Mermaids, hits the shelves in June 2015.
Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm. When she's not writing or reading at home in Washington, she enjoys taking pictures, hugging trees, and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex.
Visit her website at sarahockler.com or find her on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook.
About the Book:
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak.
Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.
Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life.
When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them . . .
Win (1) of (2) Sarah Ockler's prize packs that include a hardcover copy of The Summer of Chasing Mermaids and paperback copies of #Scandal, The Book of Broken Hearts and Bittersweet (US Only)
Giveaway starts on MAY 27th and finishes on JUNE 8th