I hadn’t planned to write a book.
Stranded by Beverley Many people dream about writing a novel, but the thought of spending months, perhaps years, working on one story made me nauseous. In the past, I had published over 200 non-fiction articles for magazines, newspapers, art collectors’ books, etc., never spending more than a few days or a week on each endeavor. The variety intrigued me.
After retiring and moving from the U.S. to a small town in Ecuador, South America, I joined a local Writers Group and met people at various stages of their writing careers. They motivated me to start writing again, but, as before, I wanted to pen something not too lengthy.
So “STRANDED” began as a short story.
An afternoon underwater excursion suddenly turned into a waking nightmare. Like a giant hand, a horrific down-current pushed a group of fourteen scuba divers downward to certain death. Two of the most experienced led three others in a fight for their lives and they eventually made it back to the surface, the rest of their friends…gone.
At the surface, Lissy, Rigo, Tom, Joanne, and Robbie encountered a raging thunderstorm. Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. The waves tossed them about like flotsam on the angry sea, their boat nowhere in sight. Exhausted and terrified, they ditched their empty air tanks and weight belts, and inflated their dive vests to wait out the storm. They clung to each other, lost and alone in the vastness of the open ocean. Hope dwindled.
Eventually, the rain stopped. The sea calmed, and warm rays shone down from between the clouds. Too spent to do anything more than ride the gentle current and be grateful they had survived, the small group unexpectedly spotted land ahead. An island! Sanctuary at last.
Lissy and Rigo washed ashore safely. The other three barely escaped the jaws of hungry sharks cruising the shoreline.
Realizing I couldn’t just leave these five marooned on a deserted island, the short story I had begun morphed into something much more. What would they encounter? Would they find food and water? Friendly—or not-so-friendly—inhabitants? Would help arrive to rescue them? They faced an ongoing fight for their lives on an island not as safe and welcoming as they’d first thought.
Carnivorous predators stalked them as sharks patrolled a short distance from the beach. But help came from a shocking and totally unexpected source, rekindling hope of survival.
The story took on a life of its own.
And before long, my first action-adventure-thriller novel was born. Imagine my surprise!
I believe animal lovers, adventurous spirits, travelers, scuba divers and/or water sports enthusiasts of any age or gender would enjoy “STRANDED”. Some reviewers say they laughed, they cried, and they felt as though the characters became friends, hating when the story ended. So many asked for a sequel that I toyed with that idea, then instead, decided to write the prequel—“Savage Isle”—providing the background as to how things came to be on that beautiful-yet-deadly island. The Savage Creation two-book series can be read in any order with complete understanding of the tale, but I recommend picking up “Savage Isle” first. It leads seamlessly into “STRANDED”.
The characters in the story face—and overcome—some of humanity’s greatest innate fears: drowning, sharks, spiders and snakes, being lost far from home and not knowing if they’ll ever see loved ones again. They also learn to work together to survive, and never, ever give up.
My hope is that readers will not only enjoy the story as it unfolds but will also realize they are not alone in their fears, and that perseverance and determination can win the day. We all suffer with our individual battles and sometimes we just have to decide that “…failure is not an option.”
Out of my eight published books, “STRANDED” has always been the most popular. I hope it and its prequel “Savage Isle” continue to delight and entertain readers everywhere. Many have commented that this two-volume series would make a stupendous, thrill-a-minute movie. Wouldn’t THAT be amazing!
As a very passionate former sport diver, I enjoy including diving in my books. Many times, an actual experience will trigger a tale giving me the opportunity to relive a dive I particularly enjoyed—or scared me out of my fins! And now that I’ve made the leap from non-fiction to fiction—specifically action-adventure with a touch of horror thrown in for good measure!—I doubt I’ll ever go back.
At heart, I’m still the adventurous, underwater-loving spirit of my youth, but I now find more thrills in reading than in doing, snuggled in a comfy chair with my kitty Jazz.
For those of you who like to know odd things…
…about the authors of the books you enjoy, here are a few little-known facts about me.
When I look into an animal’s eyes, I see a thinking, feeling being with a soul, and a heart bigger than most humans’.
I scuba dive but do not eat seafood (except for salmon and tuna). Jazz likes them, too.
I parachuted out of the first airplane I was ever in. By choice—it was not a crash landing.
I offer a sincere “Thank you!” to Authors’ Lounge for giving me the opportunity to share information about my book and myself to their readers.
To view the prequel, “Savage Isle”:
And once you’ve read those…
You can pick up a copy of the first book in the Alien Hunger series, “INSATIABLE”.