With a name like Ocean, you’d think moving to Prince Edward Island would be simple. But since seventeen-year old Ocean crossed that huge bridge to the land of red sand, her life has been far from normal—it’s been downright dangerous. Trouble seems to follow her everywhere, and she’s got the bruises to prove it.
And then there’s her mysterious neighbour, Sam, who seems to know more about her history than she does herself. When Ocean finally steps into the salty waves with Sam, she realizes that her life has been based on a lie, and that she is missing something...something she never knew existed.
AMM: What was your inspiration for SKIN?
BCD: My writing muse generally kicks in with a setting. SKIN started as just an idea of writing something set in Prince Edward Island—I love the red sand beaches, the windswept coasts and the seafood on the Island. When our kids were little, my husband and I took them to PEI often, camping at a beautiful spot where they could swim and play in the water without fear of the currents. I also love seals. They just have this mysterious quality about them, with their dark, intelligent eyes popping up out of the water. In 2011 when NaNoWriMo came around, I was just mulling some ideas over, thinking—why not put a selkie (half human/half seal) down on a PEI beach and see what happens? I started to write…and a month later I had a great start on what now is SKIN.
AMM: I love NaNoWriMo. Some of my greatest ideas were also born as a result of this challenge. Brenda, now that you have a couple of published books under your belt (DEPENDENT: A NOVEL and TREASURE IN FLAME) do you find it’s easier to write a new book? Do you feel any pressure in trying to outdo your previous ones?
BCD: I really tend to write for me, so I guess my answer would be no. My books are all so different…DEPENDENT is an adult contemporary fiction and TREASURE is a YA historical fiction, so there’s not really any way SKIN could compare. I always want to write better than my previous novel, but it’s not a pressure to ‘outdo’…more of a pressure to improve on my writing skills. Someday I’d love to go back to university and take some serious creative writing courses, to help expand my knowledge and push myself out of my comfort zone.
AMM: You move around a lot since your husband is in the Royal Canadian Air Force. How does that affect your writing, or does it in fact enhance your ideas?
BCD: Yes, we do move a lot! Our family relocates every 2-3 years. In fact, we are right now in the process of preparing for a move to Washington, DC from the west coast of Canada. We’ve travelled tens of thousands of kilometers in our days, and have met so many interesting people as a result. It certainly gives me lots to pull from as I’m writing. I also have gathered a large number of people all around the world who have supported my writing career. Unfortunately there is a downside as well: Planning things like launch days, conferences and courses can be a real challenge. There are a lot of uncertainties. I often have no idea where we are going to be next year, let alone years ahead.
AMM: If you had a choice at another ‘passion’ or dream, what would you choose? And why?
BCD: I think I’d open a coffee house. I love good coffee, and once worked as a barista when it was too difficult to get my physiotherapy license in the US (I had a newborn, a toddler, and was pregnant with our third…and the posting was only for two years). I got a real taste of the lifestyle, and could happily open a little place somewhere with a fireplace, some comfy chairs and some locally roasted coffee to brew up.
AMM: I love it!! What does a ‘perfect’ day for you look like?
BCD: Early morning sunshine, hot, fresh coffee, quiet music, and a good book…with nothing on the agenda for the rest of the day. Maybe an afternoon walk on the beach with the family… dinner out (lobster, of course) and finishing the day with a movie and hot buttered popcorn. Ahhh… heaven.
AMM: Thanks for stopping by, Brenda!
AMM: Thanks for stopping by, Brenda!
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, Canada. She originally trained as a physiotherapist and worked several years as an officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force before meeting her Air Force pilot husband and taking her release. She has two other published novels, DEPENDENT (2014) and TREASURE IN THE FLAME (2012).
Brenda is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She currently resides on the Pacific Coast of Canada, but home is wherever the RCAF sends her hubby, and she’ll be moving to the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2016. When not writing, working or taxiing her three children she can be found either in the garden or on the beach with a book in one hand and a very, very large coffee in the other.