Is it History or is it Fiction? Yes.

My first book Damn the Ponytail! is about my wife and my two daughters. At this point, the events within its pages are history. The next book is for my daughters. “Write something for us?” they had said. As I pen this next tale – Catboat Cove (working title) – they feed me ideas and requests. But why this topic?

Well, as I write this post at our kitchen island, my older daughter Lil sits next to me… completely immersed in a book. She doesn’t know that I have Albert King blaring in the background. She doesn’t know that I’m writing. I don’t think she realizes she’s been holding her yogurt in her hand for 10-minutes without eating it. Treasure Island is the first book I remember having this effect on me. I’d stay awake late at night with my lamp on, reading the dialog aloud, tracing the map with my index finger, imagining hunting for that treasure myself. And so I largely credit Treasure Island for being the first book to spark interest in crafting my own stories.

As Jim Inzero and I pull together the storyline and illustrations for Catboat Cove, we learn more and more about Robert Louis Stevenson, often referred to as RLS. We learn about his life as an author, about his adventures abroad, and about his visits to our own backyard.

Between 2 May 1888 and 28 May 1888, Robert Louis Stevenson stayed at the Union House – an Inn on the banks of the Manasquan River. The building is long gone, now replaced by The Pig and the Parrot Sandbar, a great spot for tuna bites and a cold beer.

So, is the story chock-full of real locations? Yes it is. But is it fiction? Yes it is. We’re weaving both together in a way that transports our readers to far-off lands that just happen to be down the street.

The Union House in 1900
Jim’s first sketch of The Union House for our book

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