South of the Florida mainland, the Florida Keys dot the ocean like the spine of a massive sea dragon. Home to an eclectic mix of adventurers, families, and pirates, the archipelago stretches 135 miles from the tip of Key Largo to the southernmost point of Key West. Each of the many keys has developed its own identity. Key Largo proclaims itself The Dive Capital of the Nation, while Key West invites the weird to go pro. In between are Key deer refuges, fishing meccas, resorts, mangroves, palm trees, and tiki huts. Not a bad place to spin a yarn–especially if it involves the beautiful waters off the coast, a fish-out-of-water character, and a mystery.
Some writers find inspiration in vision boards, others imagine which actors they’d cast in the roles of their characters. I created a book cover. Adrienne Tooley snapped this photo of me long before I started to write Adrift. Poised to enter the Spiegel Grove shipwreck, it perfectly captures my moment of commitment, that point of no return. One decision, so many possibilities.