Sarah Collins needs an escape. Mourning her brother’s death and the impending breakup of her marriage, she returns to her childhood home in South Carolina, where her family operated an inn.
Sarah hasn’t been back to Sea Scope for twenty years; not since she and her brother Glen discovered a body by the nearby lighthouse. She never understood why her parents left Sea Scope so suddenly, or the reasons behind her father’s suicide.
After Sarah returns to the inn, she faces long-buried memories, text messages and strange clues. Something is not right in Sea Scope. Reunited with people from her past, she tries to figure out what’s going on in her childhood home.
When past and present collide, Sarah must face truths about her family, and what happened that summer day by the lighthouse. But will she survive to tell the tale?
Welcome to another Beyond the Story character interview. Joining me is a character from Debbie De Louise’s novel, Sea Scope.
SJJ: Good morning, can you please tell the readers today your full name and where you live?
SC: My name is Sarah Collins. I live on Long Island but am originally from South Carolina.
SJJ: And what do you do for a living, Sarah?
SC: I’m a children’s book illustrator.
SJJ: Now, that sounds like a fun job. Is this your dream job or is there something else you’d like to do?
SC: I enjoy what I currently do and would like to continue doing it, but I also hope to be a mother. I consider that a job and one I would be honored to do.
SJJ: Can you tell us what is the biggest obstacle preventing you from achieving your goal?
SC: My husband Derek and I have had trouble conceiving, and he is against fertility treatments.
SJJ: I’m sorry to hear that, but I am sure it will happen for you some day. Now let’s switch gears here and please tell us something about you that not everyone knows.
SC: I discovered a body with my brother when we were children. It was near the lighthouse by the Inn where we lived as children in South Carolina. It was the body of a guest who’d we’d befriended and was thought to be suicide.
SJJ: Wow! That must have been quite a shock. Now you say you lived at an Inn, were there any defining moments in your life that made you who you are today?
SC: My years at Sea Scope with my brother and two friends had a great deal of influence on me. I remember them fondly, even though they were cut short by a tragedy.
SJJ: Sarah, it sounds like you faced some tragic moments as a child yet despite that also have some fond memories. But what about regrets. Do you have any?
SC: I regret that I wasn’t closer to my mother and that I blamed her for being weak and drowning herself in alcohol. I now know the reason she did it and am sorry for all that lost time with her.
SJJ: Sarah, I think you are not alone in your regret. Is there anyone you look up to, consider to be a mentor, either in the past or right now?
SC: My aunt Julie was always and still is a role model for me. She is strong, independent, and artistic.
SJJ: So, artistic talent certainly runs in your family. Sarah, when you think of all your accomplishments, what is your proudest moment?
SC: When I learned that I was finally pregnant.
SJJ: What??? Well, you had me fooled. I told you it would happen for you. Of course, I had no idea you already are expecting. Congratulations, I am happy for you. Okay, one final question and I will let you get back to your book. Are you happy with the way you told your story?
SC: Yes. I tell most of my story in first person except in the past where it’s told in third person. Some of the other characters also tell their stories in different chapters. You won’t get confused, though. The past and present come together in an interesting way. People have said they enjoyed that, and I like to read stories that are written that way, too.
SJJ: Thank you, Sarah. I am happy you could join me today on Beyond the Story.
Debbie De Louise is a reference librarian at a public library. She is a member of the Cat Writers’ Association, The Long Island Author’s Group, Sisters-in-Crime, and International Thriller Writers and the author of seven novels including the four books of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series. Her latest release, Sea Scope, is a psychological mystery.
She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
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