Hi! I’m Katherine Fleet, debut author of the YA Contemporary, The Secret to Letting Go. Thanks so much to Cátia for hosting me today! My novel is set in a fictional town on the Gulf Coast of Florida during that magical summer after high school graduation when the whole world is out there waiting for you. It’s the story of two teens – Clover, a mysterious girl who shows up in town lost in her secrets and fears, and Daniel, a boy who’s drawn into her troubled world despite his better judgment. Life keeps throwing them together, but their secrets keep them apart. Ultimately, it’s a story about living through tragedy and learning to forgive your self.
When Clover comes to Canna Point, she is homeless and completely on her own. Throughout the story, various people enter her life. They become more than just acquaintances. They become her family – her community. In the end, this is what scares her most – the thought that she may lose the people who’ve finally made her feel truly at home.
As an author, I love writing about family drama, but to me that word now means so much more than just blood relations. I am lucky because I have a big extended family that is very loving and supportive. My husband on the other hand only had his mom. When I began dating him, I started to understand that family comes in all forms. He has close friends that are like brothers to him. He’s a professional pilot, and the pilot community tends to be close knit. When we moved to a new town, he’d make instant friends with all his flying buddies, and they were inseparable. They were a community, and they had no qualms about leaning on each other.
I was always envious of his ability to connect so quickly, because I struggled with finding friends. I had a few close friends that I’m still close to, but I can count them on one hand. I’m a pretty easygoing person, and I get along with most people. But making the transition from acquaintance or co-worker to close personal friend was never easy for me. Maybe it was because I already had a family to lean on.
When I moved to Curacao that changed. For the first time, I was really far from my family and everything was so different. Like Clover, I needed to find a new community. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, that community became even more important to me. For the first time, I truly understood what it meant to be part of a group of people, other than my family, that were so willing to love and support me.
I suspect that my experiences here in Curacao influenced the type of community and support I gave Clover. I remember one reader of my debut book being sceptical of the way people accepted Clover into their lives. But while this may not happen every day, I have seen it. I’ve met a woman here who “adopted” several teenage children into her family for no other reason than because they needed someone. I know I was thinking about this friend when I created Daniel’s grandmother.
This expanding definition of family and community is even more important today when families can take on all different shapes, sizes, races, nationalities and genders. I’d love to hear about what family and community means to you, so please comment below. If you’d like to find out more about my writing journey, please stop by my website: http://www.katherinefleet.com I look forward to hearing from you and huge thanks again to Cátia!
Author: Katherine Fleet
Release Date: Feb. 1, 2016
Genre: YA Contemporary
Author Twitter: @KatherineFleet
Author Website: www.KatherineFleet.com
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKatherineFleet/
Author Instagram: @katherine_fleet
Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14439407.Katherine_Fleet
Originally from Newfoundland, Katherine Fleet gave up the cold winters of Eastern Canada for the year round warmth of the Caribbean. The slower pace of island life has given her time to pursue a long-time goal—becoming an author. When she’s not writing, she spends her time baking, chauffeuring her three amazing, talented kids around, and having sun-filled adventures with her husband and wonderful friends in Curaçao. She is also a very thankful breast cancer survivor. In 2007, she joined RWA and has enjoyed the support and camaraderie of the YARWA and OIRWA writing communities. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo since 2012 and is an active supporter of the associated Young Writers Program. She is represented by super-agent Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. The Secret to Letting Go is her debut novel. You can connect with her at www.KatherineFleet.com.
One summer can change everything…
Haunted with guilt after his girlfriend’s death, Daniel Hudson has no interest in committing to anyone. At the end of the summer, he’ll be leaving Florida for a new start in college. If only he could avoid the mysterious new girl in town, who seems every bit as naive and eccentric as she looks. Trouble is, she’s hard to ignore, with her beautiful piercing eyes, pitiful-looking dog, and unsettling tendency of finding trouble.
Clover Scott lived her whole life off the grid and arrives on the Gulf coast in search of her grandparents. She never expected to nearly drown, or get caught in a hurricane, or fall in love with the boy who rescues her. Now, she has a chance to rewrite her life’s story, to finally fit in somewhere, but Daniel wants answers about her past. When the police start asking questions about the disappearance of her parents, she must make a choice: go to jail or confess her secrets—even if they might destroy her chance at a happily-ever-after.
Entangled Page: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/the-secret-to-letting-go/