Squawk Radio

Thursday, July 20, 2006


I’m so happy to be here on Squawk Radio—for so long I’ve lurked, getting to know these wonderful writers a little better (for as much as I’ve loved their books, there’s something about this blog that makes me feel I’ve dropped in for iced tea with them)—and now here I am, guest blogger for a day!

In my normal life, I’m more of a seagull than a chicken; that’s because I’m a beach girl at heart and by vocation. June arrives, and the shoes come off. I have salt water in my veins, and I’m happiest with my feet in the sand. SANDCASTLES isn’t just a title: it’s a way of life.

I’m writing this blog from a salty little beach cottage on the Connecticut shoreline. My grandparents built it, and I’ve spend every summer of my life and written most of my books here. It’s not a bad place to fall in love, either. Let’s see…there was the summer cop who used to patrol the boardwalk, the boy who surfed in from the fog, the lobsterman who needed a crew, and the pirate who was after my buried treasure. These are not plotlines—they’re the story of my life. (And Johnny Depp notwithstanding, if you’re going to fall in love with a pirate, I have only one word for you: prenup.)

We have movies on the beach. Have you ever dug a pit in the sand, put down a beach blanket, and snuggled in to watch “How the West Was Won” with your sweetheart while the waves crashed and the moon rose over the sea? It’s pretty great. When I was on Nova Scotia last summer, watching a Lifetime movie being filmed of my novel BEACH GIRLS, there was some talk about substituting another scene for the beach movies—seems that the fierce maritime wind was wreaking havoc with the screen. My heart clenched, and I hoped against hope for the wind to die. Luckily it did, the screen didn’t blow away, and Stevie and Jack got to make out on the beach.

Was it hard going to the set to see Rob Lowe, Chris Carmack, and Wes Brown every day? Yes, of course. But I learned long ago that it’s necessary to sacrifice for my art—I do it for my readers. Because I love you all so much…

SANDCASTLES came with another sacrifice. Last September, for my birthday, I went to Ireland to research the land of my ancestors. I didn’t want to drive myself and risk forgetting to stay on the left side of the road, so I hired a driver. James took me from Dublin through Wicklow, down to West Cork. He was the sweetest red-headed Irishman you can imagine; I interviewed him all through Ireland. His brogue and some of his stories made it into the novel—and he completely made it into my heart. As I said earlier, writing is a very tough life.
Listen, as Teresa, Eloisa, Christina, Elizabeth, Lisa, Connie, and Kitty will tell you—we’re in it for the bird suits. And for having great readers like yourselves…

Teresa and I have the same amazing literary agent, which in the book world is a lot like being related. We hit the high seas together aboard the Levy Cruise in April; you could frequently find us aboard the Lido Deck, planning our next shore excursion. I tagged along with her and Michael to—you guessed it—a beach. It was on a deserted little island off Mazatlan. The sky was azure, the sea endless and blue, the sand as fine as pale pink sugar. Teresa and I shared sunscreen—bonded for life! And now here I am, squawker-for-a-day. I might cry…

Tell me just one thing, before I sign off. What has bonded you for life with someone? A love of the beach? A deep, dark secret? Helpless yearning for Johnny Depp and/or other bad boys? Or something else? I’d love to know…

You can visit Luanne's website at: www.luannerice.com
Teresa Medeiros, 6:15 AM