Q: This is the third in your Cape Sanctuary series--what connections do you see between the books?
A: All three books -- The Cliff House, The Sea Glass Cottage, and The Path to Sunshine Cove -- are really only linked by geography, the fictional town I’ve created in Northern California that is a mix between two of my favorite places, Cannon Beach, Oregon, and Carmel, California.
None of the characters intersect and the stories are not connected. I consider each a true standalone book.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Path to Sunshine Cove?
A: I generally find that ideas come from all kinds of obscure places.
In this case, I heard an ad on the radio for a company that helps older people downsize and I thought that would be a fabulous career for a heroine, especially a character who preferred a nomadic lifestyle so she didn’t have to forge deep connections.
I’ve also long had a fascination with Airstream trailers, especially the classics that have been remodeled so beautifully. I figured someone who travels around the country for a living would be very comfortable making a home in one!
Q: You're a very prolific writer--are you usually working on more than one book at a time?
A: I cannot do the actual writing of more than one book at a time but some corner of my brain is usually thinking about the plot and the characters for the next book while I’m finishing my current book.
Also, sometimes the publishing timeline requires me to set aside my current book to work on the editing or revision stage for the previous book, so I’ve had to learn how to compartmentalize a little.
I do not consider myself very prolific, though! It takes me four to five months to write a book, which seems to be on the slow side among my writer friends. I try to write 10 pages a day, six days a week. Sometimes it takes me all day (and into the night!) to get those 2,500 words, especially with my chaotic family life!
Q: What do you think the book says about definitions of family?
A: We can create family no matter what the circumstances of our birth.
In The Path to Sunshine Cove, Rachel and Jess Clayton had a very difficult childhood. Now, as adults, Rachel has formed her own family with her husband and children and a wide network of friends while Jess has closed herself off to those close connections because they can undoubtedly be painful.
Through the process of the book, Jess comes to see how much she yearns for a closer connection with her sister and also discovers she can build her own family through dear friends and loved ones.
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I’m about to start the next book in Cape Sanctuary! I’m excited to write this one, which involves a glampground on the coast!
Q: Anything else we should know?
A: I feel so fortunate to be a writer and to know that my words and stories have lifted people through this difficult time in history.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb