My Summer Storm, the sequel to Leaving Nelson will be released in December.
You’ve probably figured out by now that Bailey Baxter is back, and she’s headed to summer camp.
A lot of people wondered why I chose to write the sequel about summer camp, and there are a couple of different reasons for that. The first reason is simple.
I LOVE SUMMER CAMP!
I am that kid who counted down the days until summer camp. Yeah, big red Xs on a calendar would mark down the days until camp began. My romance with summer camp began the summer I turned thirteen when I went to a Christian camp for a week with some friends from church. There was something thrilling about being away from my parents and making my own decisions, if only for a week. Friendships were made, crushes were formed, and God really got a hold of my heart that week. It was a life-changing experience for me. I remember crying my eyes out the last day of camp and wishing I could rewind the week and do it all over again.
And that’s how my love for summer camp began.
I spent four summers as a camper and one as a staffer at Dry Creek Baptist Camp in high school. Then in college, I spent four summers working as a counselor at a Christian summer camp in East Texas. Handmade necklaces, tie-dyed tee shirts, athletic shorts, and Teva tans were the cornerstones of my summer wardrobe throughout high school and college. And while I may not have set many fashion trends, I learned how to face obstacles in my personal life and to trust God in a much deeper way. Whether I was canoeing in Bundicks Lake with my friends from Pine Prairie or capsizing a sailboat in the middle of the lake at Sky Ranch, I grew a lot, both spiritually and emotionally, at camp. Even now, nearly twenty years later, when that blue, Texas sky grows wide & the summer wind begins to blow, I wanna go back to camp–back to the days of crazy tan lines, early morning Bible studies by the lake, and chubby bunny marshmallow eating contests.
Some of my best (and worst) memories were made at summer camp…
…which leads me to the second reason I decided to write about Bailey’s summer at camp. I wanted to give her the chance to…
FALL IN LOVE.
Let’s face it.
Camp is the perfect place to find a summer romance.
A lot of people who read Leaving Nelson really liked the characters, and they were disappointed that they didn’t get to see Bailey’s romance evolve. Some of the first readers of the manuscript were interested in seeing her develop a romance with one of the supporting characters, so the idea of a sequel was born.
Writing this book was so much fun for me. It was nice to reconnect with an older, wiser Bailey and her friends from Fulton. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.
If you’re getting tired of the cold winter weather, or if you’re just looking for a sweet escape, pull out your imaginary sunglasses, slip on your fictional flip flops, and get ready for…
My Summer Storm.